FBI warrant: Bulgarian crypto queen Ruza among the ten most wanted people in America
The FBI is offering a $100.000 reward for information about Ignatova, but warns that she may be walking around with an armed escort
Ruzha Ignatova, a mysterious Bulgarian woman in her forties, is included among the ten most wanted persons of the US federal police because of the cryptocurrency scam that has collected more than 4 billion dollars.
In 2014, Ignatova founded the cryptocurrency "uncoin" and organized a pyramid scheme through which investors were motivated to sell it and spread the network to acquire more virtual money in their account.
Responding to reports of possible fraud, the FBI began investigating the case and in 2017 determined that the cryptocurrency was worthless because it was not at all connected to blockchain technology for protection. An arrest warrant was immediately signed for Ignatova, but she disappeared in October 2017. She was last seen boarding a plane on a flight from Bulgaria to Greece and since then there has been no trace of her.
The FBI approaches the case seriously, because it believes that Ignatova extracted 500 million dollars from the scheme, with which she pays for anonymity and protection.
To step up the search, federal police yesterday offered a $100.000 reward for any information leading to Ignatova's arrest.
The "Missing Crypto Queen" has now been touted as the only woman among America's ten most wanted people. The warrant warns that the suspect is probably accompanied by armed bodyguards or associates.
BBC reporter Jamie Bartlett, whose personal investigations helped uncover the Uncoin scam, is convinced that Ignatova has gone to great lengths to change her personal description and is traveling with high-quality, hard-to-detect forged documents . Bartlett does not rule out the possibility that Ignatova is no longer among the living.
In 2019, Ignatova was accused of eight acts of fraud. She implemented the scheme at a perfect time, in the early era of cryptocurrencies, when people readily accepted the risk of investing money in a system that offered them astronomical profits, without fully understanding the concept of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Jen McAdam, one of the many victims of the pyramid scheme, said that in 2019, together with relatives and friends, she invested 250.000 euros in Uncoin.
The lady from Glasgow received a message from a friend about an "unmissable investment opportunity", after which she joined an online promotional seminar where all the participants spoke enthusiastically about "the exciting new cryptocurrency that will be bigger than Bitcoin". After a few months, the fraud surfaced, and Ignatova sank into secrecy, richer by hundreds of millions of dollars.