A U.S. judge has dismissed the petition for a new trial by an attorney implicated in laundering $400 million for the Onecoin cryptocurrency pyramid scheme. The decision permits the court to proceed with the sentencing of 54-year-old Mark Scott, notwithstanding the fact that a critical witness for the prosecution had been shown to have provided false testimony during trial.
No New Trial for Attorney Mark Scott Despite Witness Falsehoods
The attorney who assisted in laundering funds for the infamous Onecoin cryptocurrency scam will not be granted a retrial, despite false statements made by a key prosecution witness—Konstantin Ignatov, the brother of Onecoin’s elusive founder, Ruja Ignatova, also known as the “Cryptoqueen.”
The prosecution asserted that Mark Scott earned $50 million by creating a sham investment fund used to channel money illicitly obtained by Ruja Ignatova, who remains a fugitive wanted by multiple international law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Interpol, and Europol. The scheme defrauded investors worldwide of approximately $4 billion.
Scott, previously a partner at the law firm Locke Lord, was declared guilty in November 2019, as highlighted in a Bloomberg report. The funds he obtained were used to finance an opulent lifestyle, including the acquisition of high-end properties in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, luxury commodities, automobiles, and even a sizable yacht.
In a recent decision, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos rejected Scott’s appeal for a new trial. He stated that he was not persuaded that “an innocent person may have been convicted,” in spite of Konstantin Ignatov’s false testimony from the witness stand.
Konstantin Ignatov, who played a supporting role in the fraudulent activities led by his sister, was apprehended in Los Angeles four years ago. He pled guilty to charges related to Onecoin, entered into a witness protection program in the U.S., and agreed to provide testimony against Mark Scott.
The defense for Scott advocated for a new trial on the grounds of judicial errors during the initial proceedings and evidence indicating that Ignatov had lied under oath. Judge Ramos acknowledged that the prosecution did not contest Ignatov’s falsehoods but still denied the request for a retrial.
The judicial decision clears the way for Scott’s upcoming sentencing. “We are disheartened by the court’s decision not to permit a new trial, particularly given the irrefutable evidence that the government’s sole cooperating witness committed perjury,” stated Scott’s attorney, Arlo Devlin-Brown. He also announced plans to appeal the verdict.
The Onecoin scheme enticed investors by promoting a non-existent cryptocurrency under the same name, at times branded as a “Bitcoin killer.” Launched in 2014, the operation was structured as a multi-level marketing scam. Co-founder Ruja Ignatova disappeared in 2017 and remains at large. Karl Sebastian Greenwood, another co-founder of Onecoin, was recently sentenced to 20 years in a U.S. prison.
What are your opinions on the sufficiency of Mark Scott’s basis for requesting a retrial? We invite you to share your perspectives on this intricate case in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Onecoin retrial decision
What was the decision made by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos regarding Mark Scott’s request for a retrial?
Judge Edgardo Ramos dismissed Mark Scott’s request for a retrial in the Onecoin money laundering case. This decision allows the court to move forward with Scott’s sentencing.
Who is Mark Scott and what is he accused of?
Mark Scott is a 54-year-old attorney who was implicated in laundering $400 million for the Onecoin cryptocurrency pyramid scheme. He is accused of setting up a sham investment fund to process illicit funds.
Why did Mark Scott request a new trial?
Mark Scott sought a new trial based on claims of judicial errors during the original proceedings and evidence that a key witness, Konstantin Ignatov, had lied under oath during the trial.
Who is Konstantin Ignatov and what role did he play in the case?
Konstantin Ignatov is the brother of Onecoin’s elusive founder, Ruja Ignatova. He was a key prosecution witness who provided false testimony during the trial. Ignatov had previously pled guilty to Onecoin-related charges and entered into a witness protection program in the U.S.
What will happen to Mark Scott now?
The dismissal of the request for a new trial clears the way for Mark Scott to be sentenced for his involvement in the Onecoin scam.
How did Mark Scott use the money he allegedly laundered?
Scott used the laundered money to fund a lavish lifestyle, including the purchase of high-end properties in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, luxury items, automobiles, and a sizable yacht.
Who else is involved in the Onecoin scheme and what has happened to them?
Ruja Ignatova, also known as the “Cryptoqueen,” is the mastermind behind the Onecoin scam and remains at large. Another co-founder, Karl Sebastian Greenwood, was recently sentenced to 20 years in a U.S. prison.
What was the modus operandi of the Onecoin scheme?
Onecoin lured investors by offering them to invest in a non-existent cryptocurrency, at times branded as a “Bitcoin killer.” The operation was structured as a multi-level marketing scam and defrauded investors worldwide of approximately $4 billion.
More about Onecoin retrial decision
- Bloomberg Report on Mark Scott’s Guilty Verdict
- U.S. District Court’s Official Release on the Onecoin Case
- FBI’s Most Wanted List featuring Ruja Ignatova
- Europol’s Case Files on Onecoin
- Interpol’s Update on Onecoin Investigation
- Onecoin: An In-depth Investigation by Forbes
- Legal Commentary on Money Laundering Cases
- U.S. Department of Justice Announcement on Karl Sebastian Greenwood’s Sentencing