Lawyer for OneCoin scammer Ruja "Cryptoqueen" Ignatova disbarred

In a move on Friday that may help bring some peace to jilted investors, a five-judge panel from New York formally disbarred Mark S. Scott, the former Locke Lord LLP lawyer and attorney for the notorious scammer Ruja “Cryptoqueen” Ignatova, following his November 2019 conviction on charges related to the multi billion-dollar OneCoin scam. 

Scott, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, fought the disbarment, arguing that he has a post-trial motion pending which requests either an acquittal or a new trial. 

Judges from the Third Judicial Panel rejected these arguments, stating in their opinion that, “Should respondent’s post-trial motion or potential future appeal be successful, ‘he may move to vacate the sanction imposed by this court.'”

Co-founded by Ignatova in the mid 2010s, the OneCoin pyramid scheme/multilevel marketing ploy offered commissions for recruiting new investors in what promised to be a major cryptocurrency, but investments were often instead routed directly into Ignatova’s pockets. Ignatova remains at large. 

For his part, Scott was convicted of helping to launder nearly $400 million for Ignatova, of which he pocketed upwards of $50 million in fees. According to prosecutors, Scott boasted of earning “50 by 50,” referring to his wealth and age, and he used the money to purchase cars, a boat, and multiple beachside homes. 

As Cointelegraph has previously reported, the OneCoin saga and its characters are set to become the topic of a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet, as well as a BBC television show. 

Scott, who is free from prison due to medical concerns, is currently awaiting sentencing scheduled for December 2020. He faces up to 50 years in prison. 

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