Irina Dilkinska, the former head of legal and compliance at $4 billion digital asset scam OneCoin, is facing 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering charges.
The 42-year-old Bulgarian pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud at a Manhattan federal court, the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed. Each count carries a maximum of five years in prison.
OneCoin was founded by ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova and Karl Greenwood in 2014. The two touted the token as a ‘better Bitcoin’ and lured millions of investors through a multi-level marketing network. Greenwood was sentenced to 20 years in prison in September, while Ignatova is still at large amid claims that she was killed and tossed into the sea years ago.
At OneCoin, Dilkinska led the company’s compliance efforts—at least on paper. However, her role involved facilitating the laundering of investor funds by the management, accomplishing “the exact opposite goal of her position,” authorities said.
DOJ pointed to one instance in which she arranged for the transfer of $110 million in investor funds to a Cayman Islands entity by the founders. She has also previously been accused of being highly involved in laundering $400 million by Mark Scott, a former New York lawyer who has now been disbarred.
“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,” commented Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Dilkinska’s legal team expects a positive outcome, it revealed in a statement to media outlets.
“Ms. Dilkinska is looking forward to putting this sad chapter behind her and getting back to her family,” stated John Buza, the attorney heading the defense.
Global authorities are still pursuing Ignatova, but the Cryptoqueen has proven elusive. The FBI has placed her on its list of top 10 most wanted criminals and is offering a $100,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the Bulgarian.
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