CryptoQueen’s Brother Receives Time Served Sentence for Cooperating with Authorities

News | March 18, 2024 By:

On Tuesday, March 5, 2024, Edgardo Ramos, a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, sentenced Konstantin Ignatov to time served for his role in the multi-billion dollar OneCoin cryptocurrency scam. Ignatov has already spent nearly three years in prison.

Ignatov, 38, from Bulgaria, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. As part of his plea, he admitted to taking a leadership role at OneCoin after his sister Ruja Ignatova, nicknamed CryptoQueen, disappeared. OneCoin was exposed as a $4 billion global Ponzi scheme that defrauded victims worldwide.

Despite initial lies to prosecutors, Ignatov began cooperating with authorities after his 2019 arrest. He provided key testimony against former attorney Mark Scott, who was convicted of laundering $400 million for OneCoin. Ignatov’s cooperation also led to additional arrests related to the scam. However, Ignatov was found to have lied during Scott’s trial regarding his actions with a laptop, though Judge Ramos deemed this testimony insignificant.

At sentencing, Judge Ramos credited Ignatov’s cooperation and testimony, which helped authorities further dismantle the OneCoin organization. However, the Judge also said Ignatov knowingly kept the fraudulent scheme operating. Ignatov was ordered to forfeit $118,000 in illegal proceeds.

While sentencing guidelines called for around 90 years in prison, prosecutors recommended time served, citing Ignatov’s assistance outweighed his initial false statements. Ignatov apologized to his victims and the court, saying he took full responsibility for his role and the last five years have been a painful lesson. Ignatov now intends to return to Bulgaria upon his release to see his young son for the first time.

Ruja Ignatova remains at large and was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 2022.