OneCoin lawyer found guilty of laundering $400M in crypto fraud proceeds

Another big figure in the OneCoin pyramid scheme has gotten justice from U.S. prosecutors. Mark Scott, an attorney who worked with the fraudulent outfit starting in 2015, has been convicted by the federal court in the Southern District of New York.

The conviction was announced on the Department of Justice’s webpage with statements from the prosecutor. “Mark S. Scott, an equity partner at a prominent international law firm, used his specialized knowledge as an experienced corporate lawyer to set up fake investment funds, which he used to launder hundreds of millions of dollars of fraud proceeds,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. “He lined his pockets with over $50 million of the money stolen from victims of the OneCoin scheme. Scott, who boasted of earning ‘50 by 50’ now faces 50 years in prison for his crimes.”

The conviction’s announcement outlines the case that was built against Scott. He worked with OneCoin between 2015 and 2016, during which time he created fake investment accounts known as “Fenero Funds.” He then disguised $400 million in OneCoin’s funds to appear to be investments from “wealthy European families,” effectively money laundering the funds to then send back to the fraudulent company’s founder, Ruja Ignatova. He was paid $50 million for his effort, along with luxurious gifts.

Scott’s attorneys tried to defend their client by claiming he was a bit of a gullible fool. They pointed to Neil Bush, son and brother of former U.S. Presidents, whose involvement allegedly helped convince Scott that OneCoin was a reputable organization. Bush’s attorneys did their best to distance him as far from the controversy as possible, effectively destroying Scott’s defense.

The conviction announcement also notes that Scott’s previous quotes didn’t help him to look like a victim, as he apparently boasted of a “50 by 50” arrangement. His former law firm, Locke Lord LLP, also buried him by claiming to have no knowledge of his criminal engagements.

The investigation and prosecution of OneCoin’s leaders will continue on for some time. Authorities allege $4 billion was taken in by the pyramid scheme, but some suspect the total number might be much larger.

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