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Swedish Co-Founder of Alleged Cryptocurrency OneCoin Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison – One of History’s Biggest Frauds

SENTENCED: The life of luxury came to an end for convicted fraudster Sebastian Greenwood. Photo: Private

At least 13,000 Norwegians are among the victims of one of history’s biggest frauds. Now the Swedish co-founder of the hoax has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.


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Swedish Karl Sebastian Greenwood (46), who helped start the alleged cryptocurrency OneCoin, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and to pay three billion kroner, in one of the biggest frauds in history. According to the FBI, the fraud includes at least 40 billion kroner in just a two-year period between 2014 and 2016, with at least 3.5 million victims globally. The company OneLife, associated with OneCoin, is said to have had around 13,000 Norwegian members in 2018. The “crypto queen” Ruja Ignatova is today one of the world’s most wanted people. Show more

Karl Sebastian Greenwood (46), who helped start the alleged cryptocurrency OneCoin in 2014, was also sentenced to pay three billion kroner – money he is said to have earned from the fraud.

– He took everything from victims who could not afford to lose money. It is necessary to have a sentence that has a deterrent effect, said the judge.

Together with Bulgarian businesswoman Ruja Ignatova, often referred to as the “crypto queen”, Greenwood founded what they claimed was a new and revolutionary cryptocurrency.

FOUNDERS: Sebastian Greenwood and Ruja Ignatova founded the fake cryptocurrency. Photo: Private

No one knows today how big the fraud was worldwide. According to the FBI, it is at least NOK 40 billion just in the two years between autumn 2014 and autumn 2016. In the same period there were at least 3.5 million victims.

Most of the victims were ordinary small savers who bet their savings on the promises of fabulous returns.

13,000 Norwegians

In the years immediately before the pandemic, a number of Norwegians bet money on OneCoin and on buying so-called “education packages” in the twin company OneLife, in a system that authorities in many countries believe was just a camouflaged pyramid scheme.

Many of those who bet money did so on recommendations from friends and relatives. Information meetings about the new cryptocurrency were organized in small towns around Norway.

A representative of the Norwegian network informed the Lotteries and Foundations Authority in January 2018 that OneLife then had around 13,000 members in Norway.

CONTACTS IN NORWAY: Sebastian Greenwood has collaborated with several Norwegians. Photo: Private

In the years before OneCoin was established, Greenwood had collaborated with several Norwegians in network companies that had similarities with illegal pyramid schemes.

Several of the managers in the pyramid-accused network company “Be”, which E24 has written a lot abouthas a background from precisely OneCoin.

– I feel broken

Sebastian Greenwood’s parents were present in the courtroom in New York on Tuesday when their son, wearing handcuffs, leg irons and a prison suit, was led in to receive the sentence.

In court, Greenwood said he did not think he would make it out alive from the Thai prison where he spent the first two years after he was arrested at his home on the island of Koh Samui in July 2018.

– I feel devastated, Greenwood said in court, and apologized.

EXPENSIVE LEARNING: In addition to 20 years in prison, Sebastian Greenwood was sentenced to pay NOK three billion. Photo: Private

For the past three years, the Stockholm man has been in custody in two notorious prisons in New York.

– The only thing I want is to touch the grass again, feel the sun on my face, celebrate my children’s birthdays and put them to bed in the evening, said the father of four, according to Aftonbladet.

The prosecutor asked for a minimum of 30 years in prison for the Swede.

– It is a mystery to me how someone who had such a good upbringing, and who did not need anything, still felt compelled to take money from people who had nothing, said judge Edgardo Ramos.

HIGH CIGARETTE: Exclusive watches, sports cars and luxury properties characterized the lifestyle of the leaders of OneCoin. Photo: Privat/One/Life

– As the founder and head of OneCoin, Greenwood carried out one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated, stated New York State Attorney Damian Williams.

– In reality, OneCoin was completely worthless, and the investors were left with nothing, while Greenwood stuffed more than 300 million dollars (over three billion kroner) into his own pocket, said the public prosecutor.

Wanted worldwide

Today, crypto queen Ruja Ignatova is one of the world’s most wanted people, charged with fraud and money laundering and a host of other financial crimes.

WANTED: Ruja Ignatova is on the FBI’s list of the ten most wanted people. Photo: AFP / NTB

The FBI assumes that Ignatova travels around with armed guards, probably with a fake passport, and that she has changed her appearance using plastic surgery or other methods.

No one has seen the crypto queen since October 25, 2017, when she boarded a Ryanair flight from the Bulgarian capital Sofia to Athens. All tracks end there.

A reward of NOK 2.5 million awaits whoever can contribute to the capture of the crypto queen.

In prison with Epstein

In New York, Greenwood was in custody in the same prison as convicted financier Jeffrey Epstein, the infamous Manhattan Correctional Center, when Epstein committed suicide in his cell in 2019. The death led to a full lockdown in the prison.

DEATH IN THE CELL: Jeffrey Epstein took his own life in prison in 2019. Photo: AFP / NTB

The ruling from New York states that OneCoin never had a blockchain – a digital “ledger” that is a prerequisite for all cryptocurrencies.

The Norwegian IT expert Bjørn Bjercke was the first to reveal that OneCoin had no blockchain – a revelation that led to a series of threats against himself.

In its 2020 threat assessment, Økokrim described OneCoin as a fraud linked to organized criminals in the Balkans.


Published: 15.09.23 at 02:30

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2023-09-15 00:30:25
#Fooled #thousand #Norwegians #sentenced #years #prison

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