Published On: Fri, Nov 22nd, 2019

Lawyer behind OneCoin ‘Cryptoqueen’ scam is found guilty | City & Business | Finance

A Manhattan federal jury needed only four hours of deliberation before delivering the verdict over Scott’s money laundering charges.

Staring at the courtroom floor, the 51-year-old hardly blinked as US District Judge Edgardo Ramos brought the hammer down on proceedings. 

The emotionless Scott briefly turned to a sobbing family member before being led away to prepare for a sentencing hearing in February.

Over the last two weeks, prosecutors for the US Attorney’s Office detailed how Scott had been heavily involved with the Bulgaria-based Ponzi scheme, despite the appeals from defence lawyers that he had innocently believed OneCoin was a legitimate cryptocurrency project.

OneCoin swindled “at least” £3.2bn in a worldwide investment scam that duped 70,000 people in the UK alone. 

Scott was arrested months after OneCoin’s founder and CEO – the self-proclaimed “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova – disappeared from her luxury home in Sofia, Bulgaria.

She has not been seen since, despite an international manhunt for her and her co-conspirators – some of whom are believed to be members of the Bulgarian Mafia.

The jury decided he was entirely responsible for routing a staggering $400m out of the US as he actively worked to hide the source and ownership of the cash.

Prosecutors estimated he personally pocketed around $50m from the laundering, and they say they are convinced he still has assets totalling $25m stashed in secret accounts in Switzerland and the USA.

Following the verdict, chief prosecutor Christopher DiMase urged Judge Ramos to jail Scott until the sentencing hearing on February 21, 2020.

The judge, however, waved the request away, stating he did not believe Scott posed a flight risk. 

Instead, Judge Ramos tightened his bail conditions and ordered Scott to submit to home incarceration at his family residence in Florida.

Scott’s lawyer – Arlo Devlin-Brown – closed by announcing his client intended to appeal against the conviction of money laundering.

• Coin Rivet  is a website bringing news, information, analysis, opinion and insight from the fast-moving blockchain world.

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