|Born||May 30, 1980|
|Known for||OneCoin Ponzi scheme|
|Penalty||14 months suspended imprisonment|
Ruja Ignatova (Bulgarian: Ружа Игнатова), born 30 May 1980, is a Bulgarian convicted fraudster who founded the Ponzi scheme OneCoin, described by The Times as "one of the biggest scams in history." She was the subject of the 2019 BBC podcast series The Missing Cryptoqueen. The Times referred to her as a "scam queen." Since 2017 she has been on the run from law enforcement, including the FBI, and she has been charged by U.S. authorities for wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, she emigrated to Germany with her family when she was ten years old, and spent part of her childhood in Schramberg in the state of Baden-Württemberg. In 2005 she earned a PhD in European private law from the University of Constance with the dissertation Art. 5 Nr. 1 EuGVO – Chancen und Perspektiven der Reform des Gerichtsstands am Erfüllungsort; her doctoral advisor was Astrid Stadler. She also says she studied at the University of Oxford. In 2012 she was convicted of fraud in Germany in connection with her and her father Plamen Ignatov's acquisition of a company that shortly after went bankrupt under dubious circumstances; she was given a suspended sentence of 14 months imprisonment.
In 2014 she founded the Ponzi scheme OneCoin. In 2017 she disappeared. In 2019 her brother Konstantin Ignatov pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering in connection with the OneCoin scheme.
- "Cryptoqueen: How this woman scammed the world, then ran". BBC. November 24, 2019.
- Cellan-Jones, Rory (September 26, 2019). "The mystery of the disappearing 'Cryptoqueen'". BBC.
- Bartlett, Jamie (December 15, 2019). "The £4bn OneCoin scam: how crypto-queen Dr Ruja Ignatova duped ordinary people out of billions — then went missing". The Times.
- "Is OneCoin The Biggest Financial Fraud in History?". Fortune.
- Mark Hollingsworth, Jonathan Ames, Legal Editor | Mark Bridge | (November 25, 2019). "Top law firm advised 'scam queen' Ruja Ignatova" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- "Cryptoqueen: How this woman scammed the world, then ran". November 24, 2019 – via www.bbc.com.
- "Abgeschlossene Promotionen | Promotionen | Forschung | Lehrstuhl für Bürgerliches Recht, Zivilprozessrecht, Internationales Privatrecht und Rechtsvergleichung - Prof. Dr. Astrid Stadler | Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft". www.jura.uni-konstanz.de.
- Suberg, William (May 27, 2015). "One Coin, Much Scam: OneCoin Exposed as Global MLM Ponzi Scheme". Cointelegraph.
- Stier, Frank. "Das Verstummen der Cryptoqueen". heise online.
- ""So etwas Dubioses nie erlebt"". January 20, 2012.
- "'Cryptoqueen' brother admits role in OneCoin fraud". November 14, 2019 – via www.bbc.com.