Mark Scott, the lawyer convicted of laundering $400 million from the infamous OneCoin fraud, has been denied a motion for a new trial despite revelations of false testimony during his 2019 trial. United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos made the decision during a hearing held on September 18.
Scott's Claim of Unawareness in OneCoin Fraud
Scott, aged 54, had argued that he was unaware of OneCoin's fraudulent nature when he played a pivotal role in setting up a fund that facilitated money laundering for OneCoin's Founder, Ruja 'Cryptoqueen' Ignatova.
In November 2019, he was found guilty of money laundering and bank fraud conspiracy, ultimately amassing $50 million through a fraudulent fund responsible for processing payments and transactions linked to the OneCoin scheme.
Throughout his legal battle, Scott's defense team had been pushing for a new trial, citing false testimony provided by a government witness, Konstantin Ignatov, during the initial trial. Ignatov, who admitted to assisting his sister Igantova in the OneCoin fraud, had played a significant role in the proceedings.
However, Judge Ramos, while acknowledging the false testimony, remained unconvinced that "an innocent person may have been convicted" and rejected Scott's request for a new trial during the September 18 hearing.
OneCoin's Deceptive Beginnings as a Cryptocurrency
In response to the decision, Scott's legal team has expressed their intention to appeal, highlighting their client's disappointment that the court did not grant a new trial, considering the "undisputed evidence that the Government’s sole cooperating witness perjured himself."
OneCoin, launched in 2014, initially presented itself as a cryptocurrency similar in structure to Bitcoin. However, it was later exposed as a pyramid scheme that lured in unsuspecting investors with fictitious claims and the promise of high future earnings.
Prosecutors alleged that Mark Scott used his ill-gotten gains from OneCoin to fund an extravagant lifestyle, including the acquisition of luxury homes, designer watches, sports cars, and even a 17-meter yacht.
In a related development, on September 12, Judge Ramos sentenced OneCoin's Co-Founder, Karl Greenwood, to 20 years in prison in the United States. Greenwood had been found guilty of multiple charges, including fraud and money laundering.
Meanwhile, Ruja Ignatova, the mastermind behind the OneCoin scheme, remains elusive and has not been seen since October 2017. She is currently featured on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Ten Most Wanted List.
This latest development underscores the ongoing legal outcomes surrounding the notorious OneCoin scam and the effort to bring its executors to justice.
OneCoin Lawyer Mark Scott Disbarred in New York State
Finance Magnates reported earlier that Scott, renowned for defending the infamous OneCoin 'CryptoQueen' scammer, has been officially disbarred in the state of New York. The disbarment comes following Scott's conviction on two federal felonies related to the OneCoin case, including conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Scott was found to have laundered a staggering $400 million for OneCoin Founder Ignatova. He used his ill-gotten gains to acquire luxury cars, a boat, and multiple beachside homes.
A panel of five judges issued the ban, commanding Scott to cease all forms of legal practice in New York. This prohibition extends to acting as an attorney or counselor-at-law before any court or public authority and providing any legal opinion.
Scott's legal career is under scrutiny elsewhere in the United States, with reports indicating that the Supreme Court of Florida has suspended his right to practice law.