Authorities in the U.S. have announced charges against a former Onecoin executive for her alleged role in the notorious crypto pyramid scheme. Bulgarian national Irina Dilkinska, who was extradited on Monday, may face up to four decades in prison if found guilty on counts of fraud and money laundering.
Bulgarian Woman Handed Over to US to Face Charges Related to Onecoin
Judicial and law enforcement officials in the U.S. have pressed charges against a 41-year-old woman in connection with her participation in Onecoin, one of the largest scams in crypto history. Irina Dilkinska was extradited from Bulgaria, where the massive crypto Ponzi scheme was based.
Established in 2014, Onecoin offered investors a fake cryptocurrency by the same name, branded as ‘the Bitcoin killer’ at a point, through a global multi-level-marketing network. According to Onecoin’s own materials, more than 3 million people invested over $4 billion in the purported crypto by late 2016.
Dilkinska was the supposed head of legal and compliance at Onecoin, according to an announcement published by the U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday. Authorities claim that in reality the woman accomplished the exact opposite of her job title.
She is accused of enabling Onecoin to launder millions of U.S. dollars through shell firms. “As alleged in the charges unsealed today, Dilkinska helped her co-conspirator, Mark Scott, launder approximately $400 million in Onecoin proceeds,” FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll noted.
Companies created by the Bulgarian national were also used to hold property on behalf of Onecoin founder and mastermind Ruja Ignatova, a Bulgarian-born German citizen. The latter was last seen boarding an Athens-bound flight in Sofia, on Oct. 25, 2017.
Pyramid’s Founder ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova Still Wanted
Dubbed ‘the missing Cryptoqueen,’ Ignatova disappeared less than two weeks after she was charged with fraud and money laundering in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She is still wanted by Interpol, Europol, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with a recent Bulgarian media report suggesting she might have been murdered in 2018.
Irina Dilkinska has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Each of them carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.
She is accused of burning incriminating documents after Scott’s arrest in 2018, about which she texted Ruja’s brother, Konstantin. Ignatov was detained in Los Angeles in 2019, pleaded guilty to Onecoin-related charges, and sought witness protection in the United States.
Another Onecoin co-founder, Swedish and British national Karl Sebastian Greenwood, pleaded guilty in December, 2022. Last month, a report revealed that Ruja’s ex-boyfriend, Gilbert Armenta, has been sentenced to five years in prison for his role in laundering proceeds from the crypto Pyramid.
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