FBI increase bounty of the world's most wanted woman to a staggering $5 million

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By stefan armitage

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In an effort to finally track down and catch the world's most wanted woman, the FBI has increased her bounty to $5 million.

Screenshot 2024-06-27 at 16.28.49.jpgThe bounty for the 'world's most wanted woman' has been increased. Credit: FBI

The pursuit for Ruja Ignatova - famously known as the 'Cryptoqueen' - has intensified with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation revealing that it has increased the bounty on her capture to a staggering $5 million (£3.95 million).

Ignatova - a Bulgarian-born individual holding German citizenship - stands accused of orchestrating "one of the largest global fraud schemes in history", allegedly defrauding investors of an astounding $4 billion through the creation and promotion of a fraudulent cryptocoin named OneCoin in 2014.

Ignatova vanished without a trace in 2017, a disappearance that has since placed her on the FBI's Most Wanted List as of 2022.

Screenshot 2024-06-27 at 16.32.29.jpgCredit: FBI

Initially, the FBI had offered a reward of $100,000 for information leading to her whereabouts, but in light of the severity of her alleged crimes and the global scale of the scam, the reward has been exponentially increased, Sky News reports.

According to the FBI's wanted poster, Ignatova is believed to move with armed guards or associates and may have altered her appearance through plastic surgery or other means.

Authorities suspect she may be also utilizing a German passport to travel across various countries - including the UAE, Russia, Greece, and Eastern Europe - making her search all the more challenging.

Her last confirmed sighting dates back to October 25, 2017, when she boarded a Ryanair flight from Sofia to Athens.

This followed her abrupt departure from the apartment of her American boyfriend, who was reportedly cooperating with the FBI, prompting speculation that she absconded with a substantial amount of cash, potentially enough to sustain her evasion from law enforcement.

She learned of her boyfriend's cooperation with the FBI after bugging their home, prosecutors claim.

In Bulgaria, the Chief Prosecutor has announced plans to pursue charges against Ignatova in absentia, aiming to initiate legal proceedings to seize her illicitly acquired assets.

"She will also be charged in absentia in our country, which will allow the start of a procedure for the confiscation of her illegally acquired property," he said.

There are also swirling rumors that she may have fallen victim to the Bulgarian mafia, allegedly connected to the OneCoin scheme.

Last year, Karl Sebastian Greenwood, co-founder of OneCoin, received a 20-year prison sentence in the United States and was instructed to reimburse $300 million (£237 million). OneCoin, operating under a pyramid scheme model, amassed significant sums by offering commissions to participants who recruited others into the fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme.

The FBI adds: "If you have any information concerning this person, please contact the FBI's Toll-Free tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). You may also contact your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or you can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov."

Featured image credit: FBI

FBI increase bounty of the world's most wanted woman to a staggering $5 million

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

In an effort to finally track down and catch the world's most wanted woman, the FBI has increased her bounty to $5 million.

Screenshot 2024-06-27 at 16.28.49.jpgThe bounty for the 'world's most wanted woman' has been increased. Credit: FBI

The pursuit for Ruja Ignatova - famously known as the 'Cryptoqueen' - has intensified with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation revealing that it has increased the bounty on her capture to a staggering $5 million (£3.95 million).

Ignatova - a Bulgarian-born individual holding German citizenship - stands accused of orchestrating "one of the largest global fraud schemes in history", allegedly defrauding investors of an astounding $4 billion through the creation and promotion of a fraudulent cryptocoin named OneCoin in 2014.

Ignatova vanished without a trace in 2017, a disappearance that has since placed her on the FBI's Most Wanted List as of 2022.

Screenshot 2024-06-27 at 16.32.29.jpgCredit: FBI

Initially, the FBI had offered a reward of $100,000 for information leading to her whereabouts, but in light of the severity of her alleged crimes and the global scale of the scam, the reward has been exponentially increased, Sky News reports.

According to the FBI's wanted poster, Ignatova is believed to move with armed guards or associates and may have altered her appearance through plastic surgery or other means.

Authorities suspect she may be also utilizing a German passport to travel across various countries - including the UAE, Russia, Greece, and Eastern Europe - making her search all the more challenging.

Her last confirmed sighting dates back to October 25, 2017, when she boarded a Ryanair flight from Sofia to Athens.

This followed her abrupt departure from the apartment of her American boyfriend, who was reportedly cooperating with the FBI, prompting speculation that she absconded with a substantial amount of cash, potentially enough to sustain her evasion from law enforcement.

She learned of her boyfriend's cooperation with the FBI after bugging their home, prosecutors claim.

In Bulgaria, the Chief Prosecutor has announced plans to pursue charges against Ignatova in absentia, aiming to initiate legal proceedings to seize her illicitly acquired assets.

"She will also be charged in absentia in our country, which will allow the start of a procedure for the confiscation of her illegally acquired property," he said.

There are also swirling rumors that she may have fallen victim to the Bulgarian mafia, allegedly connected to the OneCoin scheme.

Last year, Karl Sebastian Greenwood, co-founder of OneCoin, received a 20-year prison sentence in the United States and was instructed to reimburse $300 million (£237 million). OneCoin, operating under a pyramid scheme model, amassed significant sums by offering commissions to participants who recruited others into the fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme.

The FBI adds: "If you have any information concerning this person, please contact the FBI's Toll-Free tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). You may also contact your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or you can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov."

Featured image credit: FBI