Two days ago Frank Schneider lost his extradition appeal.

The decision, handed down by the Nancy Appeals Court, provides insight into Schneider’s US indictment.

Schneider (right) has been indicted on an unknown number of counts for

  1. conspiracy to commit electronic fraud; and
  2. conspiracy to launder money.

Specific acts cited in the Nancy decision include:

  1. Schneider providing “industrial espionage and money laundering services” to OneCoin and its principals;
  2. Schneider providing confidential police information to OneCoin’s principals, leading to Ruja Ignatova evading arrest; and
  3. assisting OneCoin’s operations through a UAE shell company incorporated in Schneider’s name.

Schneider is facing 20 years imprisonment on each count of fraud.

I’m unclear on when Schneider was initially indicted. What we do know is a superseding indictment was filed at some point, which is current as of June 4th, 2021.

Conduct detailed in the indictment relates to OneCoin, between 2014 and 2019.

Seeing as OneCoin launched in 2014, it is believed Schneider got involved around or shortly after OneCoin’s launch.

Previously it was thought Schneider was brought on later, to work as founder Ruja Ignatova’s right-hand man.

It is noted that US authorities do not name Schneider as one of OneCoin’s founders.

Quoted verbatim from the Nancy Court of Appeals decision, Schneider’s

conspiracy to commit electronic fraud is defined by the fact that “since approximately 2014 and until approximately 2019, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere … Franck
Schneider, the accused, (…) and other known and unknown individuals plotted, confederated and agreed together and with each other, willfully and knowingly to violate Title 18 of the United States Code item 1343.

Title 18, Section 1343 of the US Code pertains to “fraud by wire, radio, or television.

OneCoin’s Ponzi scheme would fall under wire fraud.

The purpose of the conspiracy was that Franck Schneider and others known and unknown individuals, deliberately and knowingly, having conceived and having intent to devise a conspiracy and artifice to defraud and to obtain money and goods under false pretexts, fraudulent representations and promises, allegedly and have transmitted and caused to be transmitted by way of communication electronic, radio or television broadcasting in interstate and foreign commerce, writings, signs, signals, images and sounds for the purpose of carrying out this conspiracy.

Namely, Schneider helped operate an international fraud conspiracy involving the sale of an alleged cryptocurrency known as OneCoin, including managing the proceeds of the conspiracy and evading police investigations into the conspiracy, in connection with which certain false statements and representations were made to solicit individuals all over the world including in the district south of New York to invest in OneCoin, thus having individuals send interstate and international transfers constituting their investments in OneCoin.

Franck Schneider (…) and others known and unknown individuals have associated, conspired, confederated and are agreed together and with each other deliberately and knowingly to committing the offense of money laundering in violation of Title 18 of the Code of United States Section 1956(a)(1)(B)(i).

Part and purpose of the conspiracy was that Mr. Franck Schneider, the accused and other individuals, knowing that the property involved in certain transactions financial institutions represented the proceeds of a form of illegal activity would have made and attempted to carry out these financial transactions which in fact involved the earnings of a particular illegal activity i.e. the proceeds of the electronics fraud conspiracy charged in the first count of this indictment, knowing that the transactions were designed in part or in whole to conceal or conceal the nature, location, source, ownership and control of earnings from the activity particularly illegal.

Part and purpose of the conspiracy was also that Franck Schneider and other known and unknown individuals are said to have and have carried, transmitted and transferred and attempted to transport, transmit and transfer a monetary instrument and funds from a place in the United States to and through a place outside the United States States knowing the monetary instrument and funds involved in this transport.

This transmission and this transfer represented the products of a form of activity illegal and knowing that this transport. this transmission and this transfer were designed in part or as a whole to conceal or conceal the nature. the place, the source, ownership and control of the proceeds of a particular illegal activity i.e. proceeds of wire fraud that are the subject of the first count of the indictment.

The indictment details conduct spanning New York, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Cayman Islands, the island of Jersey, Georgia (the country), the UK, the UAE, Bulgaria, Germany and Tanzania.

With the exception of Luxembourg, Schneider’s money laundering for OneCoin is purportedly tied to each of the above countries.

Luxembourg is cited as Schneider’s “strategic intelligence” base of operations.

Interestingly both the US and France informed Luxembourg of Schneider’s pending arrest.

Luxembourgian authorities did not request additional information in both instances. Nor was there any indication they intended to issue an arrest warrant of their own, or file a request to have Schneider extradited to Luxembourg.

Had the US not have pursued Schneider, it appears Luxembourg was content to harbour one of the alleged masterminds of $4 billion Ponzi in plain sight.

Whether this is due to Schneider being a former Luxembourgish spymaster is unclear.

Looking forward, Schneider is expected to appeal the Nancy Court of Appeal’s decision. From the sounds of it this is a formality that will be denied.

It is then up to the French government to sign off on Schneider’s extradition. Given their cooperation with US authorities thus far, it’s anticipated there won’t be any hiccups.

Rather than potentially spend the next 40+ years in prison, there’s a high probability Schneider will cooperate with US authorities once extradited.

Seeing as he worked closely with and likely was behind Ruja Ignatova’s disappearance, there’s a chance he’ll be able to shed light on her status.

Unfortunately we don’t have a timeline for any of this. Stay tuned for updates out of France.


Update 9th June 2023 – Following the French government granting his extradition in early April, Schneider fled monitored detention in mid to late May.

French authorities claim they don’t know where he is, making Schneider a wanted fugitive.