Ruja Ignatova

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Ruja Ignatova
Born (1980-05-30) May 30, 1980 (age 39)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Known forOneCoin Ponzi scheme
Criminal chargeFraud
Penalty14 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."[1][2][3] She was the subject of the 2019 BBC podcast series The Missing Cryptoqueen.[4] The Times referred to her as a "scam queen."[5] 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.[6]


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.[6] 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.[7] She also says she studied at the University of Oxford.[8] 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.[9][10]

In 2014 she founded the Ponzi scheme OneCoin. In 2017 she disappeared.[1] In 2019 her brother Konstantin Ignatov pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering in connection with the OneCoin scheme.[11]

Her German husband or ex-husband works as a lawyer in Frankfurt with the firm Linklaters; they had a daughter in 2016.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Cryptoqueen: How this woman scammed the world, then ran". BBC. November 24, 2019.
  2. ^ Cellan-Jones, Rory (September 26, 2019). "The mystery of the disappearing 'Cryptoqueen'". BBC.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Is OneCoin The Biggest Financial Fraud in History?". Fortune.
  5. ^ Mark Hollingsworth, Jonathan Ames, Legal Editor | Mark Bridge | (November 25, 2019). "Top law firm advised 'scam queen' Ruja Ignatova" – via maint: extra punctuation (link)
  6. ^ a b c "Cryptoqueen: How this woman scammed the world, then ran". November 24, 2019 – via
  7. ^ "Abgeschlossene Promotionen | Promotionen | Forschung | Lehrstuhl für Bürgerliches Recht, Zivilprozessrecht, Internationales Privatrecht und Rechtsvergleichung - Prof. Dr. Astrid Stadler | Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft".
  8. ^ Suberg, William (May 27, 2015). "One Coin, Much Scam: OneCoin Exposed as Global MLM Ponzi Scheme". Cointelegraph.
  9. ^ Stier, Frank. "Das Verstummen der Cryptoqueen". heise online.
  10. ^ ""So etwas Dubioses nie erlebt"". January 20, 2012.
  11. ^ "'Cryptoqueen' brother admits role in OneCoin fraud". November 14, 2019 – via