OneCoin convinces German court to release €3 mill in stolen funds
In what will probably be looked back on as a judicial mistake, OneCoin has wrangled €3 million EUR in Ponzi funds from German prosecutors.
The €3 million in question was frozen by BaFin as part of a wider €29 million EUR seizure in April 2017.
An investigation by BaFin, Germany’s top financial regulator, revealed OneCoin had laundered around €360 million EUR through Germany between 2015 and 2016.
OneCoin argued that out of the €29 million EUR seized, €3 million was generated through shell company transaction fees and shouldn’t be subject to seizure.
On appeal this argument stuck and on October 11th the Hamm Higher Regional Court ordered the €3 million in question be released.
Public Prosecutors had tried to prevent the release by issuing a new arrest order but were unsuccessful.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the court also ordered the German Treasury to pay court costs and OneCoin’s legal fees.
So why is this decision a mistake?
I’m not clued up on German law but the notion that transaction fees obtained via operation of a Ponzi scheme aren’t subject to seizure is absurd.
In addition to losses via the Ponzi scheme itself, any fees collected are also taken from victims. It’s all losses in the end, which the court should have acknowledged.
In any event OneCoin remains banned in Germany and the Bielefeld investigation continues.
The release of 3 million EUR to OneCoin means nothing for OneCoin’s affiliates, who haven’t been able to cash out since January 2017.