Mark Scott, a lawyer accused of laundering $400 million in the infamous OneCoin cryptocurrency scam in 2019, has been denied a new trial.
Despite the defendant’s motion citing several legal errors, including false testimony in the original trial, the court declined the request for a fresh trial, as reported by Bloomberg.
In 2019, Scott was found guilty of bank fraud conspiracy and money laundering. Prosecutors alleged that the lawyer earned $50 million as part of a broader plot to launder $400 million in a fraudulent scheme associated with Ruja “Cryptoqueen” Ignatov, the OneCoin founder.
Scott was further accused of using the illicit proceeds from the scam to fund a lavish lifestyle, which included purchasing luxury homes, a yacht, and three Porsches, among other extravagances.
In his motion, Scott claimed that prosecution witnesses, including a government witness, had committed perjury during the original trial. Konstantin Ignatov, a government witness and the brother of Ruja Ignatov, was alleged to have lied on the stand. However, United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled against the motion for a new trial, stating that he was not convinced that “an innocent person may have been convicted.”
Scott’s lawyers expressed disappointment with the ruling, as their client was denied another trial opportunity despite recent revelations.
“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,” they stated.
OneCoin: A Dark Chapter in Crypto History
Launched in 2014, OneCoin was initially marketed as a potential rival to Bitcoin, promising high returns to investors. However, it ultimately became one of the most significant pyramid schemes in the cryptocurrency world.
The scheme defrauded over 3.5 million people, amassing over $4 billion in ill-gotten gains. Shockingly, it was revealed that OneCoin was marketed to global investors despite having no actual value.
On September 12, Karl Greenwood, the co-founder of OneCoin, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $300 million for his role in the scheme. He had been in custody since 2018 after being extradited from Thailand and pleaded guilty to the charges.
Meanwhile, Ruja Ignatov, the mastermind behind OneCoin, remains at large and has been on the run since October 2017. She is on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list, with a $100,000 whistleblower reward for information leading to her capture. Recent developments have linked her to a property in London, although her whereabouts remain unknown. Several of her co-conspirators have been arrested and face legal consequences for their involvement in the scam.