Cryptoqueen Fugitive Faces High Court Showdown
Fugitive: ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova
A major City firm is preparing a lawsuit against fugitive ‘crypto queen’ Ruja Ignatova, who ran a multi-billion pound cryptocurrency scam called OneCoin.
Mishcon de Reya, whose clients include Princess Diana and anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, is planning a High Court class action, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The Bulgaria-based scheme has been called “one of the biggest scams in history”, and Ignatova played a central role in promoting it. She disappeared in 2017 and is on the FBI’s most wanted list with US authorities offering $250,000 (£200,000) for information leading to her arrest.
Mishcon aims to recover funds lost by investors in the fraud, and plaintiffs can register without earning or paying fees.
“The lawsuit seeks to achieve at least partial relief for investors who were deceived and who suffered losses as a result,” said partner Rhymal Persad.
Launched in 2014, OneCoin promoted itself as a rival to Bitcoin, attracting investors from around the world with promises of huge profits.
Backers purchased educational materials and “tokens” that the company said could be converted into the OneCoin cryptocurrency and would increase in value.
At its peak in mid-2017, the company had amassed more than £4 billion, according to the US Department of Justice, despite growing warnings from regulators and signs that it was operating as a Ponzi scheme. , where new investments pay existing backers rather than the company making a profit.
The business effectively collapsed that same year, after US authorities accused Ignatova of fraud and issued an arrest warrant, leaving investors billions of pounds out of pocket.