State Department announces $5M bounty for OneCoin ‘Crypto Queen’

Ruja Ignatova was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list back in 2022


melissamn/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


The State Department announced on Wednesday that it was offering a $5 million reward for Ruja Ignatova, the so-called crypto queen who ran OneCoin once upon a time. 

Ignatova is accused of defrauding investors by promoting OneCoin as an investment — which would outshine bitcoin — when it was nothing more than a scam. She, and others running OneCoin, allegedly stole over $4 billion from victims. 

The “Crypto Queen” was indicted back in 2017, but became a fugitive shortly after. She’s reportedly been on the run ever since, though reports have emerged suggesting she may have been murdered. 

“Ignatova was indicted in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering,” the State Department’s press release announcing the bounty said.

“Two weeks after the indictment Ignatova traveled from Sofia, Bulgaria, to Athens, Greece, to evade arrest and has been a fugitive since that time. In February 2018, a superseding indictment was issued charging Ignatova with the additional crimes of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud,” it added.

The reward — which would be granted for information leading to either the arrest or conviction of Ignatova — is being offered under the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program.

Ignatova is on the FBI’s Most Wanted list after being added back in 2022. 

Other conspirators in OneCoin, such as co-founder Karl Sebastien Greenwood and former legal chief Irina Dilkinska, have been sentenced by US courts and ordered to pay monetary penalties. 

Greenwood was sentenced to 20 years last year and was ordered to pay a $300 million fine for his involvement. Dilkinska, according to a DOJ press release, was sentenced to four years and ordered to forfeit roughly $111 million.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Templates.png


ZKPs enable efficient offchain transaction processing and validation, resulting in increased throughput and reduced fees. Solana's ZK Compression leverages ZKPs to minimize onchain storage costs, while Sui's zkLogin streamlines user onboarding by replacing complex key management with familiar OAuth credentials.


North Korea suspected in breach of Indian exchange’s multisig wallet


Plus, Sanctum’s CLOUD token has officially launched — but not without problems


It’s not yet clear whether Donald Trump is pumping bitcoin. But an unofficial memecoin is still seeing benefit.


StarkWare takes a step towards making StarkNet for Bitcoin


The numbers point to one conclusion: Risk is back, or at least it was during the first half of the year