Nothing gets the clicks or views more than a good story of fear, uncertainty and doubt. The BBC, which has largely steered clear of reporting on crypto, has aired a documentary on the notorious ‘Crypto Queen’ who made a fortune on a scam ICO.
Crypto Scam Unveiled
The article begins with labeling the entire industry as shady which is not the most balanced of starts. Using this week’s adult entertainment ICO scam as an example (but failing to mention Deutsche Bank’s multi-million dollar money laundering scandal) the Beeb claims that the crypto industry needs a PR makeover.
In a documentary called ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen’, the woman behind the OneCoin scam comes under investigation. Dr Ruja Ignatova held a series of events around the world selling her vision of a bitcoin beating cryptocurrency while bashing “all those Mickey Mouse coins that have copied our concept.”
The scam was orchestrated before the altcoin surge of late 2017 when cryptocurrencies were still relatively unknown. However, it was still successful enough at the time to persuade investors to part with as much as $4 billion.
According to the investigation, internal documents revealed that people in 175 countries invested, with much of the money coming in a six-month period in 2016 when ‘Dr Ruja’ was on a global tour. A large sum came from China and there were investments from South Korea, Hong Kong and Germany so the Crypto Queen knew how to talk the talk.
One UK investor, Glaswegian Jen McAdam, recruited several others into the Ponzi scheme. Since appearing on the BBC documentary she has received death threats according to the Metro.
Ignatova remains on the run but was charged in absentia with money laundering, with the US Department of Justice calling OneCoin an old-fashioned pyramid scheme. OneCoin still has offices in Sofia, Bulgaria, and still allegedly sells investments into the non-existent cryptocurrency.
A BBC spokesperson stated;
It’s not unusual that those subject to our investigations seek to undermine them and the significant response from OneCoin and its supporters is part of what is revealed in this podcast. The series exposes for the first time the scale of the cryptocurrency scam and illuminates the complexities of the scheme.
OneCoin rejects the allegations despite the fact that its outspoken saleswoman remains elusive. The Wikipedia entry for the project sides with the BBC so it beggars belief that people are still investing into it.
OneCoin is considered a Ponzi scheme due to its organisational structure and because of the previous involvement of many of those central to OneCoin in similar schemes.
Will the Crypto Queen ever be brought to justice? Add your comments below.
Images via Shutterstock
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