The history of the crypto-MLM OneCoin scam definitely has all the ingredients to make a Hollywood blockbuster out of it in the near future. Based on the model of “The Wolf of Wall Street” released in 2013 with Leonardo DiCaprio in the role of the 1999 convicted US stock exchange fraudster Jordan Belfort, the OneCoin movie adaptation could fill cinemas worldwide. Surely the hundreds of thousands of aggrieved OneCoin members would buy a movie ticket. Since October 2017, the Bulgarian OneCoin co-founder Dr. Ruja Ignatova (aka “Dr. Ruja”) has disappeared. Her Swedish partner Sebastian Greenwood was arrested in Thailand in 2018 and extradited to the USA. Dr. Ruja’s younger brother Konstantin Ignatov was arrested in the USA in March 2019.
First OneCon money-laundering conviction
The US prosecutors have charged Ignatova, her brother, and the US lawyer Mark S. Scott. The latter was found guilty of conspiracy to bank fraud and money laundering by a US jury in November 2019. He is said to have laundered about $400 million for Dr. Ruja and OneCoin and earned $50 million in fees for it. Most of this money laundering via Scott was done through the Bank of Ireland. But Germany was also deeply involved in the OneCoin money laundering.
German money laundering for Dubai
OneCoin’s financial hub is said to have been located in Dubai. Hundreds of OneCoin millions were transferred to Dubai banks from Ireland and Germany to various OneCoin-related companies based in Dubai, Belize and other offshore locations. The US prosecutors have stated in the proceedings concerning Mark S. Scott that millions were transferred to the Dubai-based Phoenix Fund of Amer Abdulaziz (or Amer Abdulaiziz) via the Bank of Ireland. This fund invested in super-expensive racehorses. Konstantin Ignatov, in his testimony as a witness for the US prosecutors in the case against Scott, claimed that Abdulaziz had also stolen another $100 million from OneCoin.
IMS International Marketing Services
In February 2017, the German regulator BaFin froze the accounts of the German IMS International Marketing Services GmbH (“IMS“). Money from OneCoin victims is said to have been deposited via this IMS and transferred to OneCoin companies in Dubai.
Between December 2015 and December 2016 alone, €360 million is reported to have been transferred via IMS and its accounts with Commerzbank. Of this amount, €29 million was secured by the freezing ordered by BaFin.
The German WB21 Group
- Via WB21 GmbH, Berlin, and its account with Postbank or
- the WB21 PTE. LTD, Singapore, and its account with Perlo Paslaugos, Vilnius Lithuania.
demonstrably laundered OneCoin funds. The WB21 Group had accounts in the USA, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, and other offshore destinations. It has therefore experienced interesting fraud and money laundering activity in the USA.
WB21 Group and the SEC Complaint
In October 2018, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against the UK stockbroker Roger Knox as well as against WB21 Group and its founder, the German citizen Michael Gastauer, for securities fraud with a damages amount of $165 million. The WB21 Group also had two Delaware registered companies, WB21 US Inc. and WB21 NA Inc. According to the SEC complaint, Gasteiner and its WB21 Group played a significant role in this fraud case between 2015 and 2018.
Similar to Mark S. Scott with his Fenero Hedge Funds, Michael Gastauer provided false information to the banks about the origin of the stolen money. According to the SEC complaint, the banks were told that the money would come from the investment activities of the WB21 Group.
The Berlin WB21 GmbH was renamed TUIO Consulting GmbH in 2018, has been in liquidation since 2018 and will soon be struck off the German company register. Philip Gastauer, the son of Michael Gastauer, acts as the company’s liquidator. WB21 Pte Ltd (201618887H) in Singapore is on the MAS Investor Alert List.
In April 2019, WB21 announced its renaming into Black Banx. In the announcement, the company claims to more than 8 million customers and resulting in a monthly payment volume of $10 billion.
Michael Gastauer and his family have earned millions with the money laundering via the WB21 Group, as the SEC explains in detail in its complaint. Although the SEC only focuses on the fraud case in the USA and not on OneCoin, it can be assumed that the processes at OneCoin were similar, as both fraud cases took place in parallel.
CashCloud and Moritz Hunziger
In addition to the IMS and WB21 Group, the Luxembourg-registered Cashcloud SA and its CEO, the German PR guru and entrepreneur Moritz Hunzinger are said to have participated in the OneCoin money laundering. The authorities are conducting investigations into this matter. The notorious Gerlach Report has been reporting on Moritz Hunzinger‘s money laundering activities for OneCoin for months. According to the findings of the Gerlach Report, Dr. Ruja and Hunzinger would have been close friends. As a matter of fact, the Cryptoqueen used to live in Germany for many years. This axis would ultimately have been used to obtain Ruja Ignatova’s new Ukrainian identity.
The new identity by diplomat Stephan Welk
Another player enters the OneCoin stage at this point. Stephan Welk is a German entrepreneur and diplomat of the Central African Republic. FinTelegram has secured and verified information that Welk has been massively involved in money laundering activities around various crypto-scams and fraud schemes in recent years. In 2003 and 2009 he was already sentenced to 4 years imprisonment in Germany on charges of fraud.
In August 2019 Welk was again arrested in Germany on suspicion of investment fraud. This case involved Welk allegedly selling a diplomatic passport including special benefits to a German company.
This situation is said to have been similar to the Cryptqueen. The Gerlach Report wants to know from reliable sources that through the mediation of Moritz Hunzinger, he would have provided Stephan Welk with a new Ukrainian identity including a passport for Ruja Ignatova. For this, Ignatova would have paid €300,000 to Welk. We can’t verify the claims of the Gerlach Report at the moment but the pattern fits.
The longer the authorities in the various jurisdictions work on the OneCoin Scan, the more “twists” and cross-connections will come to light. The script for the OneCoin Hollywood movie definitely writes the life.
|Name or Brand||Jurisdictin||Description|
|IMS International Marketing Services GmbH||Germany||OneCoin Money-Laundering via Commerzbank AG with at least €360 million (Manon Hübenthal)|
|International Marketing Services Pte Ltd||Singapore||OneCoin Money-Laundering via German banks|
|WB21 GmbH||Berlin||OneCoin Money-Laundering via German banks (Michael Gastauer)|
|WB21 Pte Ltd||Berlin||OneCoin Money-Laundering via Lithuanian and Latvia banks (Michael Gastauer)|
|WB21 US Inc.||Delaware, United States||OneCoin Money-Laundering via US banks (Michael Gastauer)|
|WB21 NA Inc.||Delaware, United States||OneCoin Money-Laundering via US banks (Michael Gastauer)|
|Silverton SA Inc.||Delaware, United States||OneCoin Money-Laundering via US banks (Michael Gastauer)|
|B2 Cap Inc||Delaware, United States||OneCoin Money-Laundering via US banks (Michael Gastauer)|
|B21 Ltd||United Kingdom||OneCoin Money-Laundering (Michael Gastauer)|
|Cashcloud SA||Germany, Luxembourg, Ukraine||OneCoin Money-Laundering (Moritz Hunzinger)|