Ignatova, a Bulgarian woman who is well known as Cryptoqueen is wanted by the FBI in connection with an alleged $4 billion crypto Ponzi scheme.
In a press release on Thursday, The FBI said that it is offering a reward of as much as $100,000 for any information that may lead to the arrest of Ignatova.
She was placed on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list.
Ignatova founded OneCoin, an alleged cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme, in 2014. She traveled the world; from Sofia, Bulgaria to Athens, Greece in October 2017 and attended conferences lauding OneCoin as a Bitcoin killer.
She told people she had invented a cryptocurrency to rival Bitcoin, and persuaded them to invest billions. OneCoin, a self-described cryptocurrency, began offering buyers commission if they sold the currency on to more people.
The investigators found that in reality OneCoin did not have any blockchain technology behind it. Blockchain is the technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized ledger of all transactions across a peer-to-peer network.
Using this technology, participants can confirm transactions without a need for a central clearing authority. Potential applications can include fund transfers, settling trades, voting, and many other issues.
The Federal investigators are accusing the fugitive of using the scheme to defraud victims. She has been missing since 2017 when US officials signed an arrest warrant and investigators began looking after her.
In 2019 she was charged with eight counts including wire fraud and securities fraud for running OneCoin Ltd as a pyramid scheme. The company offered commissions for members to entice others to buy a worthless cryptocurrency.
The FBI has formed a new specialized team the “Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit” dedicated to cryptocurrency crimes.
Pyramid Schemes surrounding cryptocurrency are a growing concern to law enforcement, this is because many Investors are being duped into investing in cryptocurrency-related fraud pyramid schemes.
In many cases, scams range from bogus cryptocurrencies to people who have lost money believing they would profit from crypto mining activities.