|Born||May 30, 1980|
|Known for||OneCoin Ponzi scheme|
|Penalty||14 months' suspended imprisonment for a previous case. Up to 90 years for the Ponzi scheme|
Ruja Ignatova (Bulgarian: Ружа Игнатова) (born May 30, 1980) is a convicted Bulgarian fraudster. She is best known as the founder of a Ponzi scheme known as OneCoin, which The Times has described as "one of the biggest scams in history". She was the subject of the 2019 BBC podcast series The Missing Cryptoqueen.
Early life and education
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; which discusses lex causae in conflict of laws.
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 afterwards was declared bankrupt in dubious circumstances; she was given a suspended sentence of 14 months' imprisonment.
In 2014, she founded a Ponzi scheme called OneCoin. In 2017, she disappeared. In 2019, her brother Konstantin Ignatov pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering in connection with the scheme.
Ruja's German ex-husband works as a lawyer in Frankfurt. Their daughter was born in 2016.
- "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.
- "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.
- 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.