A lawyer who laundered $400 million from the OneCoin cryptocurrency fraud won’t get a new trial despite lies told on the witness stand by a prosecution witness who is the brother of the so-called “Cryptoqueen” fugitive Ruja Ignatova.
(Bloomberg) — A lawyer who laundered $400 million from the OneCoin cryptocurrency fraud won’t get a new trial despite lies told on the witness stand by a prosecution witness who is the brother of the so-called “Cryptoqueen” fugitive Ruja Ignatova.
Mark Scott, 54, was found guilty in November 2019 of money-laundering conspiracy and bank-fraud conspiracy. Prosecutors claimed he made $50 million for setting up a phony investment fund that he used to process money that Ignatova, who is on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, took from the $4 billion fraud. Scott claimed at trial that he didn’t know that OneCoin was a fraud.
US District Judge Edgardo Ramos denied Scott’s request for a new trial Monday, ruling that he wasn’t convinced “an innocent person may have been convicted” despite the lies of Konstantin Ignatov, a government witness who admitted he’d aided his sister in the fraud. The judge’s ruling paves the way for Scott to be sentenced.
Scott, a former Locke Lord LLP partner, used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, buying a 57-foot (17-meter) yacht, multimillion-dollar homes in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and luxury watches and cars, including three Porsches, prosecutors said.
Arlo Devlin-Brown, Scott’s lawyer, said his client will appeal the ruling by Ramos. “We are disappointed that the court did not grant a new trial given the undisputed evidence that the Government’s sole cooperating witness perjured himself,” the lawyer said in an emailed statement.
Scott sought a new trial based on claims of legal mistakes and on evidence that Konstantin Ignatov had given false testimony. Prosecutors didn’t dispute that he lied on the stand about some things, the judge said.
Ignatov pleaded guilty to crimes including fraud and money laundering, agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors and to testify against Scott.
OneCoin lacked a real cryptocurrency and instead operated as a multilevel marketing network that paid commissions to people worldwide for recruiting others to buy OneCoin packages, according to prosecutors.
Ignatova disappeared in 2017 as OneCoin came under suspicion. She co-founded OneCoin, which was based in Sofia, Bulgaria, with Karl Sebastian Greenwood, who acted as the main promoter of OneCoin. Ramos last week gave Greenwood a 20-year sentence after he pleaded guilty in the case.
The case is U.S. v. Scott, 17-cr-630, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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