OneCoin class-action stay lifted, case is back on
Plaintiffs in the OneCoin class-action have convinced the Judge to reopen the case.
On April 28th a joint letter informed the court of both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s current positions.
Plaintiffs wanted the case to continue, arguing that all remaining defendants have now been served.
This meant that the condition the case was stayed under last August has been satisfied.
Defendants Mark Scott, David Pike object to lifting of the stay.
Scott and Pike, both members of OneCoin’s money laundering team, want to wait for the outcome of their respective criminal cases before proceeding.
Scott was convicted of fraud last November. Pending any more delays due to medical reasons, Scott is scheduled to be sentenced on July 14th.
Pike is cooperating with the DOJ. As of last month it is believed Pike will plead guilty at some point.
Nicole Huesmann, a Florida attorney, allegedly assisted Scott with laundering OneCoin funds through Mumbelli Group.
Huesmann maintains the New York court the class-action is being heard in lacks jurisdiction over her.
To avoid submitting to jurisdiction of the court, Huesmann maintains no position on the lifting of the stay.
Konstantin Ignatov, former head of OneCoin behind his sister Ruja, didn’t object to continuation of the stay.
On May 1st the court held a telephonic hearing on whether the stay should be lifted.
Later that same day the court ordered the stay lifted, meaning that despite Mark Scott’s and David Pike’s objections, the lawsuit will proceed.
The court has directed plaintiffs to file a proposed schedule by May 8th. Stay tuned…
Someone please get Kamran Hye’s opinion. He confused the civil and criminal matters and interpreted the speed bump to mean both were likely to fail.
Of course Kamran Hye confused it. You would get more intelligent opinion from a shoe, than from Kamran Hye.
I discovered more evidence about OneCoin’s links to organized crime with the help of SDNY court transcripts.
There are descriptiona of money flows out of the funds that Mark S Scott headed. The biggest OneCoin loot recipient was the horse mogul Amer Abdulaziz Salman’s Phoenix fund (€185 million), but the Feds describe money flows to Bulgaria too. Here is the summary:
“LBJ AD” (bird.bg/tr?v=view&guid=200140876) is an interesting company because its director TEODOR KRASIMIROV PASTARMADZHIEV, is described as the close associate to the “Cocaine King” Hristoforos “Taki” Amanatidis:
The Feds have described drug lord Taki as the head of security of OneCoin and having a role in Ruja’s disappearance:
[OneCoin affiliated Bulgarian company “Pro Dial” (bird.bg/tr?v=view&guid=203186715) has been mentioned in a criminal scheme called GPGate(bivol.bg/en/gpgate-cash-offshores-political-parties-russian-oligarchs-and-alleged-drug-lords-wife.html ) that allegedly has Taki’s fingerprints too.
Pro Dial had RISG Limited (RujaIgnatovSebastianGreenwood) as an owner and Veska Ignatov as a manager, along with Taki’s girlfriend Boryana Shehtova.
Another OneCoin company “Elmaz Proparti”(bird.bg/tr?v=view&guid=203923120) — which owns the OneCoin Sofia head office — is also linked to the GPGate schme through Lukoil lawyer Velizar Radev and his company GP Hold. ]
The LBJ AD of Taki’s trusted man got 6 million euros from Ruja/Scott, and the transfer happened right after OneCoin’s head-of-almost-everything Frank Schneider (Chelgate/Sandstone associate) had started to re-organize Ruja’s money laundering operations, by bringing in a fellow Luxemburgian Karl Horsburg (who summerised aptly the existing criminal scheme):
(p. 1247; courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nysd.482287/gov.uscourts.nysd.482287.199.0.pdf)
Around January-Februay 2017, a Bulgarian company called Openmark EOOD received a whopping €52 million from Ruja/Scott:
Openmark(bird.bg/tr?v=view&guid=201316875 ; beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03766200/persons-with-significant-control) is a company of Bulgarian tobacco lord Hristo Latchev, a former Bulgartabac CEO, who owns several tobacco companies in UAE, Bulgaria and elsewhere.
Bulgartabac has been notorious for its corruption, and its background figures — who include the current prime minister Boyko Borisov — have been accused of being involved in terrorist financing and cigarette smuggling (bivol.bg/en/letter-to-the-us-embassy-exposes-bulgartabac-scheme-featuring-boyko-borisov-ahmed-dogan-and-delyan-peevski.html) via that company.
Even Latchev has been alleged to have been involved in this “Bulgartabac mafia” through a company called Caledon Invest –> bivol.bg/en/middle-east-distributors-of-bulgarian-tobacco-maker-are-outlawed.html. Taki is probably not far away from these Bulgartabac figures either because in one of the articles I linked above, it’s said:
“There are a number of reports that Amanatidis is currently in Dubai, where he often spends time in the company of Delyan Peevski.”
Later in 2017, after having received the treasure from Ruja, Latchev went to Greece to buy himself another tobacco company (with the OneCoin money?):
Curiously, Real Tobacco SA that Latchev bought has a Greek politician Christos Folias as a principal.
So quite interesting where the OneCoin money from Mark Scott’s ended up…
I keep meaning to get back to the transcripts. They’re sitting there and I just need to find the time.
COVID-19 has increased my workload it feels like, so I never get around to it 🙁
Can’t complain though given a lot of people’s employment situation. I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones.
The problem with the transcript is that it’s massive body of text that’s difficult to read/process — especially without the exhibits. It’s full of boring details about money transfers, readings of emails etc. without much context and explanation.
I think you have alredy covered most of the “low hanging fruits”. Rest of it is largely raw material for hard investigative work.
(The jackpot is for the one who cracks the Ruja’s 100 M Venezualan state oil company reference. 😉 )
Here is my summary on the money flows to help see the big picture.
OneCoin companies (IMS, Star Merchant, B and N Consult, Fates) fed Fenero funds 354 M EUR + 10 M USD (during May-October 2016).
I got the following when tried to parse how the money flowed out:
* 10 M USD was sent to Fates
* 185 M EUR sent to Phoenix Fund Investments
* 65 M EUR sent to Bulgaria (Openmark EOOD, LBJ AD, Vida Homes)
* 3.25 M EUR sent to Oceanscape Ventures
* 30 M EUR sent for the Barta/CryptoReal deal
* 7.3 M EUR sent for the PCT Card investment
* 52 M EUR ended up to Mark S Scott (not sure if the 1 M EUR “legal escrow” is inlcuded)
(* 30 M EUR was sent to Cowen International and 10 M EUR to IG Markets investment firms, but the monies were returned back to Fenero/MSSI accounts with small profit. They are probably included in the money in tranfers above)
–> about 10-11 M EUR is missing. Scott had emptied & closed all funds by September 2017, with the exception of 1+ M EUR he held himself for possible legal & other expenses.
Some loans were mentioned in passing and there was 3.6 M EUR money return or the 10 M EUR IG
Markets money that I’m not sure how to account, so perhaps these cover the difference (or some other more obvious mistake I made).
But I guess it’s also possible that the transcripts don’t provide full picture of the Scott’s money laundering for OneCoin.
There is at least the Fenero Malta entity (offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/55077798 ), which I think wasn’t mentioned at all in the court transcipts. Impossible that the Feds would have missed it.
Perhaps Fenero Malta is the (possibly) missing ca. 10 M EUR, that’s included in the total sum (and on Ms. October’s charts which we don’t have access to) but the Feds didn’t want to give any attention in court.
Or perhaps the Fenero Malta is an indication that Mark S Scott laundered much more money for OneCoin than the often cited $400 million.
Scott’s defense used obstructionist legal tactics — putting Scott’s less prestigious lawyer Mr. Garvin to do the dirty work of foolishly arguing “black letter law” in bad faith — which prevented the prosecutors accessing the trove of seized materials until very late in the process.
Perhaps this is also why the prosecutors added the bank fraud charge against Scott at the eleventh hour.
So perhaps the prosecutors just didn’t have the time to prepare for the other aspects of Scott’s money laundering, and the court proceedings dealt largely with what they already knew, without relying much on the seized material. (E.g They mentioned Scott’s money laundering he did while on bail with his lawyer James Nobles only in passing, and it wasn’t formally included in the case.)
The Feds could also have visibility issues and/or their work is still very much ongoing due to the above mentioned obstruction, when they — by the trial — had maanged to track and trace only about half of 50+ million Mark Scott got from Ruja…
Apparently, Konstantin Ignatov is negotiating a settlement with the CA Plaintiffs:
Given disgorgement as part of his own plea, I wonder what he’ll bring to the table.
In case there was any doubt about what happened to Konstantin Ignatov after the BOP records showed “released” status for him:
I think reaching a settlement with the victims of the fraud he personally figureheaded may serve his interests in the upcoming sentencing of his federal criminal case.
He can use the reached settlement as one of the reasons to argue before the judge that he has been a good boy, and get even bigger sentence reduction.
It’s perhaps also good news for Konstantin that his sentencing date got postponed again for it looks a little bit like the Feds are looking to give him another snitching gig — this time against Sebastian Greenwood. The more valuable he is to the Government, the more he’ll likely get his sentence reduced.
Wonder where they’re keeping him…