German Court Issues Jail Sentences in OneCoin Crypto Scam Case

  • The German court has issued jail sentences to key figures, including Frank Ricketts and Manon Hubenthal, involved in the OneCoin cryptocurrency scam, with charges related to amassing approximately €320 million from nearly 90,000 victims. 
  • The legal proceedings shed light on the intricate web of fraudulent activities associated with OneCoin and highlight ongoing challenges in addressing cryptocurrency-related fraud, including the mysterious circumstances surrounding ‘crypto queen’ Ruja Ignatova.

In a significant legal development, a German court in Münster has pronounced verdicts and jail sentences for key figures implicated in the notorious OneCoin cryptocurrency scam. Frank Ricketts and his wife, Manon Hubenthal, along with a Munich-based lawyer, Martin Breidenbach, faced charges related to amassing approximately €320 million from nearly 90,000 OneCoin victims across Europe. The court handed down sentences of 5 years for Frank, 4 years for Manon, and 2 years and nine months for the lawyer.

The charges against the defendants included accusations that Martin Breidenbach transferred €20 million to overseas accounts using false data. The court has mandated the seizure of assets from each convicted party, with financial penalties assigned. Manon was ordered to pay €43,500, Frank required to pay nearly €1.2 million, and the lawyer, Martin Breidenbach, directed to pay €627,000.

The couple had entered into a contractual arrangement with Ruja Ignatova, widely known as the ‘crypto queen,’ who played a leading role in orchestrating the OneCoin operation. Ruja attracted investors through grand events organized between 2014 and 2016. Notably, she stands on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted fugitive list and has been wanted by Interpol since 2017.

In June 2023, reports circulated claiming that Ruja was killed by a drug lord in Greece while on board a yacht. However, investigations revealed that the murder had occurred in November 2018, and it was allegedly orchestrated by infamous drug lord Hristoforos ‘Taki’ Amanatidis to conceal his involvement in the OneCoin scam. Despite these reports, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) still considers Ruja Ignatova a fugitive, offering a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading to her arrest.

OneCoin, recognized as one of the largest cryptocurrency scams to date, raised approximately $4 billion. The unraveling of the scam began in 2016 when suspicions were first raised. Subsequent investigations unveiled transactions totaling €320 million within a week, with the convicted couple benefiting significantly from commissions.

Furthermore, in June 2023, the US Department of Justice filed charges against Irina Dilkinska, a Bulgarian woman involved in the OneCoin crypto Ponzi scheme. The charges include wire fraud and money laundering, each carrying a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.

The legal proceedings and convictions related to the OneCoin scam underscore the extensive fraudulence associated with the cryptocurrency scheme, emphasizing the need for continued vigilance and regulatory measures in the evolving landscape of digital assets.

Unraveling the OneCoin Saga – Justice Served in Landmark Crypto Scam Case

The recent verdicts and jail sentences handed down by a German court mark a crucial chapter in the unraveling saga of the OneCoin cryptocurrency scam. With key figures facing legal repercussions for orchestrating a fraudulent scheme that amassed millions from unsuspecting victims, this development underscores the importance of robust regulatory measures in safeguarding the cryptocurrency space. The case also sheds light on the lingering mystery surrounding ‘crypto queen’ Ruja Ignatova, emphasizing the ongoing challenges of addressing large-scale fraud in the dynamic realm of digital assets. As authorities continue their pursuit of justice, the OneCoin saga serves as a stark reminder of the need for vigilance and stringent measures to protect investors in the ever-evolving crypto landscape.

Disclaimer : This article was created for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. An asset’s past performance does not predict its future returns. Before making an investment, please conduct your own research, as digital assets like cryptocurrencies are highly risky and volatile financial instruments.

Author: Mehar Nayar

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