Bernard Madoff would have had reason to be proud of her. By adapting to the field of cryptocurrencies the famous scam called “the Ponzi pyramid”, which consists in repaying the money of newcomers to older investors, Rouja Ignatova has become, all over the world, the “queen of cryptocurrencies”. . And unlike the other, she has managed, for the moment, to escape justice.
Born in 1980 in Ruse, Bulgaria, Rouja Ignatova rose to fame in 2014 when she founded the cryptocurrency firm OneCoin, at a time when speculation on new digital currencies was frenzied. To ambitious viewers, she promises that trading real currencies with her virtual currency will allow them to rack up immense profits. For this, there must be as many investors as possible for OneCoin to increase in value. With a well-groomed appearance and perfectly lucid speech, she seduces both individuals and the media, who regularly give her the floor, to the point that in 2015 she found herself on the cover of the Bulgarian edition of the American magazine Forbes.
The rise was meteoric: at the height of its glory, Ignatova gathered up to 12,000 people at London’s Wembley Arena. In front of a cheering crowd, she assures that within two years “OneCoin will replace Bitcoin” and promises, with specific sectarian rhetoric for scammers, a “bright future for our big family”. Meanwhile, it is the present of the former Oxford University student that improves dramatically. Real estate and luxury cars, evening dresses, diamond-studded earrings … Rouja Ignatova benefits from her cash flows, valued in total by the FBI at four billion dollars.
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A currency that is more fictitious than virtual
But we don’t borrow the money of more than three million people without having to account for them someday. The first complaints were heard at the end of 2016. Financial authorities from several countries, such as Germany and the UK, are taking a closer look at OneCoin’s business. It won’t take long to realize that OneCoin cryptocurrency does not exist … And that instead of a virtual currency, Rouja Ignatova and her accomplices have created a fictitious currency. The finance doctor swears, however, that the value of his creation continues to increase, and in October 2017 he invites investors to a scheduled good news meeting in Lisbon. She won’t appear there and hasn’t been seen since.
The FBI then comes into play and reveals that the last trace of life left by Rouja Ignatova dates back to two weeks before the alleged meeting, when she took a plane from Bulgaria to Athens where she had left. Since the end of June, she has been on the list of the ten most wanted people in the world by the FBI, which has promised a reward of $ 100,000 to anyone who provides reliable information to find her.
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Meanwhile, Hollywood has seen material for a script in this story and has announced, from 2020, the filming of a film that traces the fraudulent epic of Rouja Ignatova.
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