Insight into how OneCoin seemingly manage to keep one step ahead of authorities has surfaced, courtesy of a District Court judgment in Germany.
The case involved a government tax official facing allegations he tipped off a friend about a money laundering investigation.
Back in September 2016 a OneCoin related €28,000 EUR transfer request to Singapore aroused the suspicion of a bank employee.
As reported by SWP DE, the employee noted, among other things, the “desolate financial position” of one of the OneCoin affiliates. Specific details were not elaborated on.
As required by the law, the bank in question acted on their employee’s suspicion and filed a Suspicious Activity Report with the authorities.
This prompted a money laundering investigation into the two OneCoin affiliates.
An employee working at the Ehingen tax office caught wind of the investigation.
This individual was also OneCoin affiliate and knew one of the men under investigation through the Ehingen group of OneCoin affiliates.
Upon learning of the investigation, the government employee informed one of the OneCoin affiliates under investigation.
This prompted the affiliate to rush to the bank and plead with employees that the funds be transferred to Singapore within 24 hours.
Ehingen prosecutors investigating the case eventually filed a lawsuit against the tax official, charging him with “breach of official secrecy”.
After initially denying any wrong-doing, the tax official later admitted what he did was wrong.
In his defense, the defendant said that he was sure that the case against his acquaintance would be closed.
“I know where the money came from,” said the (tax official) , who appeared in court without a lawyer.
He had even been there at the (OneCoin) promotional event for investment.
(At the event) his acquaintance received money from (OneCoin) investors.
The money had to go to Singapore at some point to give investors a bonus.
The tax official stated he tipped his friend off in an attempt to prevent the funds being frozen.
At the time OneCoin was amid a banking crisis. Banks across the world were terminating the Ponzi scheme’s accounts faster than they could set up new shell companies to open them with.
In an attempt to thwart authorities, OneCoin began using local affiliates as money laundering mules.
These mules collected newly invested funds and then laundered them offshore through personal bank accounts. In return, OneCoin rewarded its money mules with “a bonus”.
As to the €28,000 EUR in stolen funds at question here, the case against the two men was eventually dropped (no details as to why).
As I understand it the funds were eventually laundered off to Singapore as intended.
The tax official defendant meanwhile was found guilty and ordered to pay a €5400 EUR fine.
Links to authorities and criminal organizations have dogged OneCoin and founder Ruja Ignatova for years.
I’ve come across alleged links with Bulgarian authorities, the Bulgarian and Russian mafias but up until now nothing concrete.
It’s worth noting that the reaction to the Bielefeld investigation, which saw OneCoin’s Bulgarian offices raided, was the premature announcement by Ignatova’s brother, Konstantin, that investigating authorities had “found nothing”.
That was back in March. Today the Bielefeld investigation continues and the three million in stolen investor funds authorities managed to seize remains frozen.
In the meantime, Konstantin’s claim certainly sounds a lot like the Ehingen tax official’s “(I was) sure that the case against (my) acquaintance would be closed” defense.
Regardless of its inaccuracy, one can only wonder where Konstantin got the notion authorities had found nothing from…