OneCoin’s Christopher Hamilton a step closer to US extradition
OneCoin money launderer Christopher Hamilton will be extradited from the UK to the US.
Hamilton lost his bid to avoid extradition on Tuesday.
The court rejected Hamilton’s assertion that, because most of the fraud he committed occurred outside of the US, that he should face trial in the UK.
Further tipping the scales towards extradition, as reported by Law360 (paywalled), is that the UK has shown no interest in prosecuting OneCoin scammers;
Judge Rimmer noted that The City of London Police dropped their investigation into OneCoin in 2019 and “there appears to be no indication, still less certainty, of a prosecution here in the U.K.”
“Wherever victims are based, it is in their interests for perpetrators involved to be prosecuted rather than not to be,” Judge Rimmer wrote. “This factor weighs in favor of extradition.”
Hamilton has the right to appeal, after which the decision still needs to be signed off on by the UK’s Secretary of State.
Hamilton’s partner in crime, Robert MacDonald, avoided extradition on humanitarian grounds.
The judge ruled in favor of MacDonald and found that extraditing him would unfairly infringe his human right to respect for family life.
MacDonald is the carer for his “extremely ill” wife who suffers from progressive multiple sclerosis, and has expressed “clear and genuine suicidal intent, in the event he were to be extradited,” the judgment reads.
Again, given the UK has shown no interest in prosecuting OneCoin scammers, I assume this means MacDonald gets off scot-free.
On MacDonald, Judge Rimmer noted;
There is no apparent evidence of monetary gain by Robert MacDonald (or indications e.g. such as a lavish lifestyle).
Details of the criminal case Christopher Hamilton is facing in the US have yet to be made public. I’m assuming Hamilton’s indictment is sealed, pending actual extradition to the US.
Hamilton is believed to assisted OneCoin with laundering £75 million GBP. Hamilton laundered the funds through Viola Money, a UK shell company Hamilton also laundered OmegaPro Ponzi funds through.
As of yet Hamilton hasn’t filed an appeal. If he does, how long that will take to play out and/or the Secretary of State signing off after, is unclear.
Update 20th December 2022 – Whether Hamilton has been extradited remains unclear.
Details of Hamilton’s 2019 US indictment however have been unsealed.
Update 20th November 2023 – The UK High Court has refused to extradite Christopher Hamilton to the US.