The lawyer responsible for laundering $400 million from the OneCoin fraud has been denied a motion seeking a new trial, despite a prosecution witness having perjured themselves in the trial against him in 2019.
According to a Sept. 18 report from Bloomberg, 54-year-old lawyer Mark Scott argued that he didn’t know OneCoin was a fraudulent operation at the time and should not be charged for his role in setting up the fund that laundered money for OneCoin founder Ruja “Cryptoqueen” Ignatov.
Scott was found guilty of money laundering and bank fraud conspiracy in November 2019, with prosecutors finding that Scott earned a total of $50 million through a fraudulent fund that processed payments and transactions siphoned from the OneCoin scheme.
His legal team has been seeking a new trial since, citing a false testimony from a government witness in the original trial.
As the #OneCoin turns: now money launderer Mark Scott's motion denied. How many years?— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) September 18, 2023
Docketed today: "ORDER as to Mark S. Scott's motions for a new trial pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 29 and 33. the motions are DENIED." https://t.co/CpstHJAkrr
However, during a Sept. 18 hearing, United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos denied the attorneys’ request for a new trial, saying he was unconvinced that “an innocent person may have been convicted” despite the false testimony delivered during the 2019 trial by Konstantin Ignatov.
Konstantin Ignatov was a government witness who admitted to aiding his sister Ruja in the OneCoin fraud.
Lawyers for Scott said that they would appeal the decision, claiming that his client was “disappointed that the court did not grant a new trial given the undisputed evidence that the Government’s sole cooperating witness perjured himself.”
OneCoin was launched in 2014, and marketed itself as a cryptocurrency that was similar in structure to Bitcoin. However, it was later revealed to be a pyramid scheme that functioned by luring in new users with fictitious claims and promises of high future earnings.
The prosecution claimed that Scott used the $50 million in proceeds from OneCoin to finance an expensive lifestyle, buying a swathe of luxury goods including numerous multimillion-dollar homes, watches, sports cars and a 17 meter yacht.
On Sept. 12, Ramos sentenced OneCoin’s co-founder Karl Greenwood to 20 years in prison in the United States, after he was found guilty of a litany of charges including fraud and money laundering.
In 2014, a woman named Ruja Ignatova launched a fake cryptocurrency named "OneCoin". Despite the currency never existing, Ruja convinced people all over the world to invest. In 2017, after raking in $4 billion profit, she boarded a plane to Greece and hasn't been seen since. pic.twitter.com/DoJCfmy0Uj— Informative & Interesting (@infotale_in) March 15, 2023
Ruja Ignatov has not been seen since October 2017 and is currently on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Ten Most Wanted List.