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OneCoin Lawyer Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Laundering $400 Million

Former Attorney at Locke Lord LLP Sentenced for Laundering Millions of Dollars in OneCoin Fraud.

In a landmark sentencing, Mark Scott, a former senior attorney at Locke Lord LLP, was sentenced on January 25 to 10 years in prison for laundering $400 million in the infamous OneCoin Ponzi scheme.Bitmain Miner

Scott’s conviction on multiple bank fraud and money laundering charges in 2019 was followed by sentencing in the Southern District of New York. The court’s verdict was first reported by the Inner City Press.

OneCoin Attorney

Launched in 2014 and operating out of Sofia, Bulgaria, OneCoin was initially positioned as a breakthrough cryptocurrency. However, it quickly became a fraudulent multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme that bilked over $4 billion between 2014 and 2016 from at least 3.5 million victims worldwide.Whatsminer Miner

OneCoin’s value was misrepresented as being driven by market supply and demand, but in reality, it was a worthless digital currency whose price was manipulated and arbitrarily set by the scheme’s operators.

Scott joined the program in September 2015 after meeting with OneCoin co-founder Ruja Ignatova, who played a key role in the money laundering aspects of the fraud. While his defense claimed ignorance of the nature of the OneCoin fraud, evidence and testimony presented during the trial painted a different picture.

Prosecutors argued that Scott was deeply involved in the operations, setting up elaborate offshore fund structures to conceal the source of the ill-gotten gains.

During sentencing, the judge scrutinized Scott’s post-conviction conduct, including selling his Porsche and moving large amounts of funds to the Cayman Islands rather than using them to compensate OneCoin victims. The judge said these actions showed a lack of remorse and an unwillingness to help the victims of the scheme he helped perpetuate.

OneCoin Disruption

Ruja Ignatova, known as the “Queen of Crypto,” is still at large and was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list in June of 2022. The case continues to unfold as other OneCoin associates face legal consequences for their involvement in the scheme.

Scott’s verdict is a clear reminder of the risks posed by unregulated digital currencies and the potential for their misuse in large-scale fraud. It serves as a cautionary tale for professionals in the legal and financial fields about the consequences of promoting or turning a blind eye to dubious financial operations.

The OneCoin case remains a touchstone in the debate over whether the cryptocurrency market needs stricter regulation and oversight.

Scott’s conviction and sentencing underscores the seriousness with which the U.S. justice system treats financial crimes, especially those involving emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies. It also underscores the ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies around the world to bring to justice those involved in one of the most notorious frauds in the digital currency space.



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