Cryptoqueen’s OneCoin legal chief pleads guilty to fraud

The former head of legal and compliance at OneCoin faces up to 10 years in prison for her role in the $4 billion crypto trading scheme.

The former compliance chief of OneCoin — a 2015 crypto scheme that defrauded investors out of $4 billion — has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges in Manhattan federal court.

In a Nov. 10 statement, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said that U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos had accepted 42-year-old Irinia Dilkinska’s guilty plea.

Dilkinska pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit laundering. Each charge carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison.

“OneCoin’s so-called ‘Head of Legal and Compliance’ Irina Dilkinska accomplished the exact opposite goal of her position,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in the statement.

“As she has now admitted, Dilkinska facilitated the laundering of millions of dollars of illicit profits OneCoin accrued through its multi-level-marketing scheme.”

The prosecution found that despite her role as the head of compliance for OneCoin, Dilkinsa played a key role in laundering money for the scheme. At one point Dilkinsa facilitated the transfer of $110 million in fraudulently obtained proceeds to an entity in the Cayman Islands.

Dilkinska’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14, 2024 — where she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for her role in the OneCoin scheme.

The Department of Justice first charged Dilkinska with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering on March 21.

Related: Former Deutsche Bank exec pleads guilty over ‘R3 Crypto Fund’ scheme

OneCoin was founded in 2014 by “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova and Karl Sebastian Greenwood. Greenwood has since been sentenced to 20 years in prison on fraud and money laundering charges, while also being ordered to pay $300 million in restitution.

Ignatova, however, remains at large, having gone missing in October 2017 after a flight to Greece just 15 days after a federal warrant was issued for her arrest.

OneCoin was exposed as fraudulent in 2015 but still managed to generate over $4.3 billion in revenue, recording profits of nearly $3 billion between Q4 2014 and Q4 2016.

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