OneCoin fraud mastermind's top lawyer jailed for 4 years

Ex-legal chief Irina Dilkinska ordered to forfeit $111m for role in $4bn crypto pyramid scheme.

OneCoin fraud mastermind's top lawyer jailed for 4 years
New York

A former top lawyer for the infamous OneCoin cryptocurrency scam has been sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to hand over $111 million (£89m) in criminal proceeds by a US court.

Irina Dilkinska, 42, who served as head of legal and compliance for the $4 billion OneCoin fraud, pleaded guilty last November to one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one money laundering charge.

The Bulgarian national was sentenced on Wednesday by US District Judge Edgardo Ramos in Manhattan. Prosecutors said she played a key operational role at the Bulgaria-based OneCoin, which marketed a worthless cryptocurrency through a pyramid scheme that defrauded millions worldwide.

"Rather than upholding the law, she facilitated and committed money laundering, aiding in the exploitation of millions of victims," said US Attorney Damian Williams.

As OneCoin's legal chief, Dilkinska, a lawyer trained in Russia and the UK, laundered $110 million in criminal proceeds through a Cayman Islands shell company, court documents showed.

Her sentencing is the latest in a series of severe punishments for OneCoin's founders and associates. In January, former lawyer Mark Scott was jailed for 10 years for laundering $400 million linked to the scam.

OneCoin co-founder Karl Greenwood was sentenced to 20 years and ordered to forfeit $300 million last September. However, the crypto scheme's alleged main architect, Ruja Ignatova, dubbed the "CryptoQueen," remains at large after being added to the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list in 2022.

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