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Press Release

“Head Of Legal And Compliance” For Multibillion-Dollar Cryptocurrency Pyramid Scheme “OneCoin” Pleads Guilty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
OneCoin Was a Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Marketed and Sold to Millions of Victims Around the World, Resulting in Billions of Dollars in Losses

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that IRINA DILKINSKA pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court to wire fraud and money laundering charges in connection with her participation in the massive OneCoin fraud scheme.  OneCoin, which began operations in 2014 and was based in Sofia, Bulgaria, marketed and sold a fraudulent cryptocurrency by the same name through a global multi-level-marketing (“MLM”) network.  As a result of misrepresentations made about OneCoin, victims invested over $4 billion worldwide in the fraudulent cryptocurrency.  Today, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos accepted DILKINSKA’s guilty plea. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As OneCoin’s so-called ‘Head of Legal and Compliance’ Irina Dilkinska accomplished the exact opposite goal of her position.  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 dedicated prosecutors of this Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to pursue this important case until every defendant is brought to justice.”

According to the allegations in the Superseding Information and other filings and statements made in court:

In 2014, RUJA IGNATOVA, a/k/a “the Cryptoqueen,” and KARL SEBASTIAN GREENWOOD co-founded OneCoin,[1] a company based in Sofia, Bulgaria, that marketed a purported cryptocurrency by the same name, which was in fact a fraudulent pyramid scheme.  OneCoin operated as a MLM network through which members received commissions for recruiting others to purchase cryptocurrency packages.  This MLM structure influenced rapid growth of the OneCoin member network.  Indeed, according to OneCoin’s promotional materials, over three million people invested in fraudulent cryptocurrency packages.  OneCoin records show that between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, OneCoin generated €4.037 billion in sales revenue and earned “profits” of €2.735 billion.

DILKINSKA was the purported Head of Legal and Compliance for OneCoin.  But rather than ensuring that OneCoin complied with the law, DILKINSKA assisted in running its day-to-day operations and laundered money for OneCoin, including arranging for the transfer of $110 million in fraudulently obtained OneCoin proceeds to a Cayman Islands entity.

On October 12, 2017, IGNATOVA was charged with OneCoin-related fraud and money laundering charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and a federal warrant was issued for her arrest.  On October 25, 2017, IGNATOVA traveled on a commercial flight from Sofia, Bulgaria, to Athens, Greece; she has not been seen publicly since.  IGNATOVA was added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”) Top Ten Most Wanted List in June 2022.  The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to IGNATOVA’s arrest.

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DILKINSKA, 42, a citizen of Bulgaria, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which also carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison. 

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.  Sentencing before Judge Ramos is scheduled for February 14, 2024, at 10:00 a.m.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the FBI, which jointly conducted this investigation with Special Agents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

If you have any information about IGNATOVA’s whereabouts, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.  Tips can be reported anonymously and can also be reported online at

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Folly, Juliana N. Murray, and Kevin Mead are in charge of the prosecution.

[1] OneCoin has operated using several corporate entities and d/b/a names, including “OneCoin Ltd.,” “OnePayments Ltd.,” “OneNetwork Services Ltd.,” “OneAcademy,” and “OneLife.”  These entities and d/b/a names are referred to collectively here as “OneCoin.”


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated November 9, 2023

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 23-386