The United States government is continuing its crusade against Mark Scott, an alleged money launderer and the official attorney for noted crypto scam operation OneCoin.
Yesterday, the government filed a memorandum in which it responded to Scott’s appeal that insufficient evidence had been provided to show that the funds he handled were derived from any criminal activities he engaged in.
Proof is Enough as Sentence is Upheld
Scott was found to have laundered $400 million on behalf of his former employers – a job which he got paid $50 million for. Despite a guilty verdict being passed by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and the New York County district attorney’s office last November, Scott wasn’t done yet. He reportedly filed a motion to dismiss the case, pointing to insufficient evidence against him.
The evidence from the prosecutor included sworn testimony from 17 witnesses, including several victims of the OneCoin scam, government agents, employees from American banking institutions that worked with the company, and even Konstantin Ignatov – the brother and former business partner of OneCoin’s founder, Ruja Ignatova.
Scott had slammed the witnesses’ testimony as being based on hearsay and innuendos, adding that they weren’t enough to support a conviction on any of the fraud charges leveled against him. On those grounds, he pleaded with the court to enter an acquittal.
In his appeal, the former attorney explained that he didn’t realize that the company he worked for was a scam, and that he was no more than an innocent pawn in the entire operation.
However, the government has now fought back, claiming in its motion that the guilty verdict that he was handed will stand. “It was entirely reasonable for the jury to conclude that the defendant knew that he was dealing with the proceeds of unlawful activity. Legitimate investment funds whose transactions involve proceeds from lawful activities do not forge documents and create false records on a routine basis,” the government’s memo explained.
The Government Closes in on the OneCoin Puzzle
Scott is just one of the many loose ends that the federal government has started to tie as they close in on the $4 billion scam that was exposed several years ago. Late last year, BehindMLM reported that the scam’s website had stopped operating, as the scam monitoring site opined that authorities could have cracked down against it and shut it down.
However, a representative from the domain’s registrar EurID confirmed that upon investigation, the domain had decided to shut the site down based on the many criminal proceedings that the company behind it was embroiled in.
In November, Konstantin Ignatov also pleaded guilty to playing a part in the scam. He was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport in March 2019, and after several questioning and investigations, he eventually pleaded to several charges – including money laundering and fraud. While he hasn’t been sentenced, he faces up to 90 years behind bars for his crimes.
As for Ignatova herself, she remains at large. Dubbed “Cryptoqueen,” the Bulgarian businesswoman disappeared from the public eye in 2017 and has been at large since.