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Lawyer Seeks Reopening of Onecoin Case in Bulgaria, Seizure of Assets

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Lawyer Seeks Reopening of Onecoin Case in Bulgaria, Seizure of Assets

A lawyer representing Onecoin victims has urged Bulgarian authorities to reopen an investigation into the crypto pyramid scheme and seize assets to compensate his clients. The attorney is asking officials in Sofia to take into account developments he considers related to the case, including the recent murder of a Bulgarian crime figure in South Africa.

Attorney Hopes New Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Takes on Onecoin Investigation

Dr. Jonathan Levy, a legal representative for people affected by Onecoin from several countries, has filed a new request that Bulgaria’s acting top prosecutor reopens an investigation into the multi-billion dollar crypto Ponzi scheme and seize associated assets for restitution of the victims.

In a letter to the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, Levy is turning attention to recent events that he believes are connected to the case. These include the murder of Bulgarian organized crime figure Krasimir Kamenov in South Africa, linked to the recently fired chief public prosecutor of Bulgaria, Ivan Geshev, and the fugitive founder of Onecoin, Ruja Ignatova.

Geshev was removed from office by Bulgaria’s Supreme Judicial Council earlier in June and replaced by Borislav Sarafov as Acting Prosecutor General. In December 2021, Levy filed a petition with the Bulgarian Constitutional Ombudsman, accusing Geshev of protecting Onecoin which allegedly continued to operate through affiliated entities in Bulgaria.

The U.K. lawyer now insists that Onecoin must be shut down, the responsible persons arrested and their assets seized. In support of his latest request, Levy presents a sworn declaration by Onecoin’s former Compliance Officer Duncan Arthur, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland and the Republic of South Africa, which details the scam’s contacts in Africa.

Kamenov, who was assassinated in Cape Town in late May, along with his wife and two other victims, has been accused of involvement in the murder of a top police official in Sofia and connected to the disappearance of Ruja Ignatova and a reported 230,000 BTC in her possession.

Cryptoqueen’s Whereabouts and Fate Still Unknown

According to an article published in February by the Bulgarian website Bureau for Investigative Reporting and Data (Bird.bg), the “missing Cryptoqueen” was killed in Greece, in November 2018, a year after she boarded a plane bound for Athens. The report claims the conclusion is based on evidence obtained during the investigation into last year’s murder of the ex-head of a criminal police department in the Bulgarian capital.

Both may have been murdered by a crime group associated with Kamenov, according to the information. However, Jonathan Levy requested an investigation suggesting Ignatova’s death may have been faked by the criminal organization. “Geshev then belatedly sought Kamenov’s arrest but not before Geshev claimed he had narrowly escaped a bomb plot,” the attorney noted.

“I am requesting the Acting Chief Prosecutor review this new material and our previous requests and take action now against the Onecoin organized crime gang in Bulgaria and the former Chief Prosecutor Geshev who we accuse of deliberate nonfeasance. And in particular seize the assets of the OneCoin gang for the benefit and restitution of victims,” Levy wrote to the Bulgarian Justice Ministry.

Launched in 2014 as a multi-level marketing (MLM) network based on a non-existent cryptocurrency, Onecoin is believed to have defrauded more than 3 million investors globally of over $4 billion. Its mastermind, Bulgarian-born German national Ruja Ignatova, was last seen on Oct. 25, 2017, at the airport in Athens, and is still wanted by Interpol, Europol, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

According to South Africa’s Daily Maverick newspaper, Kamenov may have had information about her. The publication also revealed that around 2018, Ignatova’s brother and Onecoin co-founder, Konstantin, posted photos on his Instagram showing he had visited Cape Town. He was arrested in Los Angeles the following year and pleaded guilty to Onecoin-related charges while seeking witness protection in the United States. Ruja’s business partner, U.K. and Swedish national Sebastian Greenwood, also pleaded guilty in December 2022.

Do you think investigators will get to the bottom of the Onecoin case? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

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