DOJ: Konstantin’s perjury “not material” to Scott’s guilty verdict
In his letter motion for a retrial, Mark Scott’s attorney claimed the DOJ knew about Konstantin Ignatov’s perjury in advance.
The DOJ contends prosecutors handling the case ‘first learned of these serious allegations only when Scott filed his Supplemental Motion.’
This is the DOJ’s opening salvo in opposition to Scott getting a retrial.
The DOJ claim that upon learning of Ignatov’s then alleged perjury, they “investigated the allegations”.
Specifically, the Government has spoken with Ignatov regarding the incident (who immediately admitted to the perjury) and to the U.K.-based law enforcement agent who first learned of the allegations against Ignatov.
The Government immediately turned over the notes from those interviews to the defense.
If true, this leaves Scott’s argument that the DOJ sat on Ignatov’s perjury dead in the water.
In explaining the delay between an investigator finding out about the perjury but not immediately informing prosecutors, the DOJ writes;
The Investigator had planned to forward this email to the FBI, but regrettably forgot to do so.
The email was not shared with the prosecutors or any other U.S.-based members of the prosecution team until after Scott filed his Supplemental Motion.
In his letter motion, Scott argued “Ignatov’s testimony “was absolutely central
to the Government’s evidence that Mr. Scott engaged in any kind of illegal activity”.
The DOJ’s blunt response? “Scott is wrong”.
With respect to Ignatov’s perjury affecting Scott’s conviction, the DOJ raise two arguments;
1. the perjured testimony, amounting to only a small piece of Ignatov’s testimony and regarding an event that took place after the charged conspiracy and was unrelated to Scott’s guilt, was not material to the jury’s verdict; and
2. Ignatov’s full testimony had limited relevance to the key issue in dispute at trial, i.e., Scott’s knowing participation in the charged criminal conspiracies.
Basically what Konstantin lied about had nothing to do with Scott’s conviction, which was based on his knowledge of participation in a criminal conspiracy.
That conspiracy being Scott’s involvement in the laundering of just under $400 million in OneCoin investor funds.
Ignatov’s testimony about the Laptop concerned an event that took place long after the timeframe of the offenses charged in the Indictment, which were alleged to have taken place from 2015 through 2018.
Further, the subject matter of Ignatov’s false testimony (i.e., his supposed placement of the Laptop in a trash bin) had nothing to do with the bank fraud and money laundering charges at issue at the trial.
All in all, jurors found Scott guilty after hearing from
- seventeen witnesses, including Ignatov;
- OneCoin victims;
- a money laundering expert;
- employees from US banks then allegedly defrauded by Scott;
- a partner at Scott’s former firm, Locke Lord LLP;
- a former managing director of a UK fund that Scott used to launder money through;
- a financial intelligence analysis who traced the funds Scott laundered; and
- an IRS agent involved in the criminal investigation, search and seizure of Scott’s property and his post-arrest interview, during which the DOJ asserts Scott “lied repeatedly about his involvement with OneCoin … and Ruja Ignatova”.
Evidence the jury relied on to convict Scott (right), included “numerous emails” between Scott and Ignatova, Irina Dilkinska and Gilbert Armenta – all of whom were intricately involved in OneCoin’s money laundering operations.
Ignatov’s testimony, in its totality, was corroborated by substantial other evidence, including, among other things:
(1) emails between Ruja and Greenwood clearly demonstrating that OneCoin was a fraud scheme;
(2) testimony from victims demonstrating the same;
(3) contemporaneous text messages (and an email attachment)
between Ignatov, Dilkinska, and Frank Schneider, that showed the link between Scott and OneCoin and Ruja, and indicated that Scott was an insider who participated in the criminal conspiracies;
(4) extensive independent evidence entirely disconnected from Ignatov’s testimony, showing that Scott was a knowing participant in the conspiracies;
(5) Scott’s post-arrest statement;
(6) emails between Scott and Ignatov;
(7) a recording of Gilbert Armenta that corroborated Ignatov’s testimony that Ruja had been spying on Armenta and had learned he was cooperating with law enforcement;
(8) travel records showing Scott’s travel to Bulgaria, among other places; and
(9) OneCoin promotional videos showing Ruja and Greenwood in the act of carrying out the OneCoin Scheme.
Bank records were also produced, laying bare the offshore money laundering web Scott set up for OneCoin and himself.
Taken together, the evidence made clear that Scott had custom-built an elaborate money laundering vehicle for Ruja—fake investment funds—which he used to launder nearly $400 million of OneCoin Scheme proceeds on her behalf.
In exchange, Scott was paid over $50 million for his role as Ruja’s money launderer.
The key issue in dispute at the trial was whether Scott knew that the nearly $400 million that he had received from Ruja was derived from criminal activity.
While Ignatov’s testimony provided context for the jury to understand the OneCoin Scheme, Ignatov’s testimony had little bearing on the issue of Scott’s knowledge of the criminal nature of the proceeds.
In their thirty-two page opposition the DOJ goes into more detail, further illustrating the irrelevancy of Konstantin lying about a laptop with respect to Scott’s conviction.
As to what happened to Ignatov’s laptop after Duncan Arthur handed over to his mother in Bulgaria;
Ignatov later learned that Arthur gave the Laptop to his mother in Bulgaria, who in turn gave it to Ignatov’s girlfriend, who destroyed it.
A decision on Scott’s retrial motion remains pending.