• The U.S. Government published a reward of up to $5 million for information about OneCoin’s Ruja Agnatova.
  • Ignatova vanished in Athens, Greece in 2017, after her Ponzi scheme collapsed.

The U.S. State Department has offered a $5,000,000 bounty to anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest of Ruja Ignatova – the “Cryptoqueen” self-styled by OneCoin – or her conviction. Ruja disappeared in Athens, Greece in 2017.

The reward announced on Wednesday is part of the State Department’s Transnational Organised Crime Rewards Program and increases the previous reward of $250,000. This reward was offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Ignatova was added to the FBI Most Wanted List in 2020.

Ignatova was also indicted Wednesday in absentia by authorities in Bulgaria, her native country. The scheme stole approximately $4 billion in investments from investors worldwide between 2014 and the collapse of the scheme in early 2017.

OneCoin was operated by a network that solicited investment in exchange for alleged tokens. However, OneCoin didn’t exist on any blockchain and Ignatova, along with her team, manipulated the perceived value of OneCoin through automatic creation of new coins.

OneCoin has been called by the State Department “one of largest global fraud schemes ever.”

Ignatova, a German citizen, is also facing criminal charges in Germany, the U.S. and India.

Ignatova’s former OneCoin partners have all been sent to prison for their part in the scheme. OneCoin cofounder Karl Greenwood received a sentence of twenty years in prison last year for his crimes. He also forfeited $300 million. Two of the scam’s lawyers, Bulgarian Irina Dilkinska from and American Mark Scott were sentenced earlier this year to prison. Dilkinska received four years in jail and Scott was sentenced for 10.

Disappearing Act

Ignatova disappeared shortly after she was indicted by the U.S. authorities in the fall 2017 and last seen on a plane from Sofia, Bulgaria to Athens.

The FBI suggests that Ignatova might have changed her appearance through plastic surgery, or she may be travelling on a German Passport in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Ignatova has also been rumored to have died. A Bulgarian media report in 2023 suggested that in 2018, Ignatova had been killed and dismembered in the Ionian Sea on the command of a Bulgarian gangster known as “Taki.” However, this report was never verified.

Nikhilesh De.