The trial of an American lawyer accused of laundering part of the proceeds of the One Coin cryptocurrency “scam” has started in New York.
Mark Scott is accused of sending approximately $ 400 million (£ 310 million) out of the US while he was attempting to conceal the true ownership and origin of the funds. Some are alleged to have ended up in Bank of Ireland accounts. Prosecutors say he also spent part of the fraud proceeds on a yacht, three houses and a Ferrari car. They add that while the defendant had made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in his role as a partner in a top-tier law firm, this was “a fraction of the money he was paid to launder the proceeds of the One Coin fraud scheme.
A recent filing from his lawyers indicates that they hope the government will show that the money that originated with One Coin was invested in funds controlled by the defendant, but they point to the fact that Scott previously told the FBI that he had asked a colleague to Investigating rumors that One Coin might be a “pyramid scheme” before getting involved, and had been assured that “there was nothing illegal. The central question in the trial will be whether or not Mr. Scott knew that One Coin was operating a criminal plan,” they add.
Scott faces one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of bank fraud. The judge in the case has said it is likely to last between two and three weeks. American investors who claim to have been defrauded by the scheme are also trying to sue Scott for a reward in a related case. In total, researchers believe up to £ 4bn has been raised globally through what is said to have amounted to a Ponzi scheme, with investors based in Uganda, China and the UK, among others. countries.
One Coin used the Bitcoin success story to induce victims to invest under the pretext that they too could get rich through their investments,” New York state attorneys say in a presentation. This was of course completely untrue because the One Coin price was a fiction and was not based on supply and demand. Among the evidence prosecutors intend to present is the testimony of an investor who they say transferred thousands of dollars for a One Coin package to a German entity, which in turn sent millions of euros directly to the defendant’s investment funds.
Others involved in One Coin also face legal proceedings. The man who is allegedly one of the leaders of the scheme, Konstantin Ignatov, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in March. And one of its co-founders was extradited from Thailand to the United States following an operation involving the FBI in November 2018. However, the Bulgarian organization behind One Coin Ltd continues to operate and denies all wrongdoing. One Coin verifiably meets all the criteria of the definition of cryptocurrency.