In a Manhattan federal court statement on 10 November, the Department of Justice (DOJ) disclosed that 42-year-old Irinia Dilkinska, the former compliance chief of the 2015 crypto scheme OneCoin, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges.
U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos accepted Irinia Dilkinska’s plea, which included one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Money Laundering in OneCoin Scheme
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams condemned Dilkinska’s actions, highlighting how she had facilitated the laundering of millions of dollars in illicit profits amassed through OneCoin’s Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) scheme.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:
“As OneCoin’s so-called ‘Head of Legal and Compliance’ Irina Dilkinska accomplished the exact opposite goal of her position. As she has now admitted, Dilkinska facilitated the laundering of millions of dollars of illicit profits OneCoin accrued through its multi-level-marketing scheme. The dedicated prosecutors of this Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to pursue this important case until every defendant is brought to justice.”
Despite her compliance role, Dilkinska was found to have played a part in transferring $110 million in fraudulently obtained funds to an entity in the Cayman Islands.
Dilkinska’s sentencing is set for 14 February 2024, where she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for her involvement in the OneCoin scam.
Legal Action Against OneCoin Founders
OneCoin, established by Ruja Ignatova and Karl Sebastian Greenwood in 2014, was later exposed as fraudulent, leading to legal actions against its key figures.
Karl Sebastian Greenwood has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $300 million in restitution.
Ruja Ignatova, however, remains at large. She disappeared in 2017 after a federal warrant was issued for her arrest.
She was added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”) Top Ten Most Wanted List in June 2022.
Photo taken from BBC.