The brother to the founder of the infamous OneCoin crypto scam has pleaded guilty to several charges, including fraud and money laundering. Konstantin Ignatov is facing 90 years in prison for his crimes, but he may receive leniency for his cooperation. His sister, the ‘crypto queen’ Dr. Ruja Ignatova, is still at large.
Ignatov admitted to his role in the mega OneCoin scam on October 4, a BBC report revealed. However, the court documents have been kept under wraps since then, until Inner City Press obtained them recently.
According to the documents, Ignatov faces four charges for his role in the OneCoin scam. The first is conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a crime that carries a maximum prison sentence of twenty years as well as a $250,000 fine. The second is wire fraud, a crime that also carries a 20-year prison sentence and a similar fine.
Ignatov is also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering for which he could face twenty years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000. His last charge is conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and for this, he could face 30 years in prison.
Altogether, Ignatov is looking at a 90-year prison sentence.
However, having pleaded guilty and pledged to work with the authorities to bring in the other guilty parties, Ignatov will receive a lenient sentence. The court documents stated:
However, if the Defendant fully complies with understandings specified in this Agreement, no testimony or other information given by him will be used against him in any criminal tax prosecution. Moreover, if the Defendant fully complies with the understandings specified in this Agreement, he will not be further prosecuted criminally by this office for any crimes, except for criminal tax violations.
The documents further revealed that Ignatov’s cooperation with the authorities could reveal activities of individuals who might use intimidation and violence against him and his family. The court pledged to take measures to ensure his safety, including possibly placing him and his family in witness protection.
Ignatov has also been testifying in a criminal case against Mark Scott, a lawyer who was key to the OneCoin operations and who is believed to have been at the heart of the money laundering by the company. Scott has sought to discredit Ignatov’s testimony, even presenting emails that aim to prove that he wasn’t in the U.S. when some of the crimes he is accused of took place.
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