OneCoin Fraudster Sebastian Greenwood Sentenced to 20 Years in US Prison

cryptocurrency fraud

Background on the OneCoin Scheme

In 2014, Sebastian Greenwood, a dual citizen of Sweden and the United Kingdom, founded OneCoin in Sofia, Bulgaria, alongside Ruja Ignatova, a German citizen also known as the Cryptoqueen. They promoted their cryptocurrency as the next Bitcoin, attracting numerous unwary investors worldwide, including Thailand. However, OneCoin was nothing more than a pyramid scheme, defrauding around 3.5 million people out of $4 billion.

Arrest and Extradition of Sebastian Greenwood

Greenwood was arrested in 2018 at his home in Koh Samui, Thailand. Following his arrest, the Thai Anti-Money Laundering Office seized several of his assets, including 3.3 kilograms of gold bullion. He was then extradited to the United States to face charges for his role in promoting OneCoin.

Conviction and Sentencing

In December 2022, Greenwood pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering charges. US District Judge Edgardo Ramos in Manhattan sentenced him to 20 years in prison and ordered him to forfeit $300 million. Prosecutors initially sought a sentence of at least 30 years for Greenwood, labeling him as OneCoin’s “primary promoter.”

Ruja Ignatova’s Status and the FBI’s Most-Wanted List

While Greenwood faces justice, his co-founder, Ruja Ignatova, remains at large. She was named on the FBI’s ten most-wanted list in the previous year.

Upcoming Trial of FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried

As the case against Greenwood concludes, Manhattan prosecutors are preparing for the trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. He has pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges related to the November 2022 collapse of his now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange.