Neil Bush, the younger brother of former United States President George W. Bush, is alleged to have gotten a pretty substantial payday to attend a meeting with OneCoin co-founder Ruja Ignatova.
According to a report from Law360 on November 15, a testimony in a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York contained several allegations concerning the businessman and investor, who has discovered to have been involved in a business deal with the company. Precisely, Bush was roped into the case by Mark Scott, the former Locke Lord attorney who is now on trial for his involvement in the entire scam.
According to Locke, the fact that Bush was an investor in OneCoin gave the scam a layer of legitimacy, and he never knew that the company had ever been involved in any illegal deals.
OneCoin, a Bulgarian crypto firm, remains one of the most infamous scams to ever come out of the cryptocurrency space. Founded in 2014, the company remains operational, even though investigators have alleged that it raised about 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) in a Ponzi scheme. Ruja Ignatova, popularly known in the crypto industry as “Cryptoqueen,” is the sister of company co-founder Konstantin Ignatova. After she signed a guilty plea in connection with the alleged fraud back in October, she now faces up to 90 years in jail, and despite multiple indictments, she is now a fugitive.
Bush and Hoifu Energy
As for Bush, he is currently being investigated by the FBI for his role as a board member of Hoifu Energy, an energy firm whose owner, Dr. Hui Chi Ming, helped purchase an African oil field. The oil field was to be financed in cash, although a significant portion of the purchase price was also said to be in OneCoin. While the deal eventually fell apart, Scott’s counsel claimed that Bush’s indirect involvement with the deal led him to believe that the entire thing was legitimate.
When the judge asked if there had been any meetings between Hui, Bush, an Ignatova, David Brown, a separate member of Scott’s counsel, replied in the affirmative.
“Bush had a residual interest in the cryptocurrency from the oil deal. Bush met the woman from the cryptocurrency company, Ruja Ignatova, in Hong Kong with Dr. Hui,” the attorney added.
It’s all a show
Bush’s involvement with OneCoin doesn’t seem to go beyond just needing them to help with a financing snag, but its ability to mislead an attorney definitely speaks volumes. Several scams have been known to raw on popular affiliates to help keep themselves looking legitimate. Theranos, the health tech company that was eventually dissolved for being a scam, had some pretty impressive people on its board, including former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Richard Marco Kovacevich, the former CEO of Wells Fargo & Company.
Cryptocurrency scams do the same as well. From investment scams to fraudulent companies and pump and dump schemes, several malicious operations have been known to use images and likenesses of popular people to help drive adoption.