Missing ‘Crypto Queen’ is now on the FBI’s list of Most-Wanted fugitives

Ruja Ignatova

A woman who allegedly made billions by conning hundreds of thousands of people from around the world in a crypto coin scam has been put on the FBI’s most-wanted list.

The FBI announced the addition of Ruja Ignatova to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for her alleged leadership of a massive fraud scheme that affected millions of investors worldwide.

Five years after going on the run, international police agencies appealed to the public for the arrest of Ignatova, the founder of OneCoin, a cryptocurrency marketed as an alternative to Bitcoin but was actually a pyramid-style scam that relieved people from 175 countries of at least $5 billion.

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, alleged that Ignatova conned people out of up to $16 billion when it offered a reward for information leading to her arrest in May of last year.

Europol said Ignatova was “the driving force and intellectual inventor” of OneCoin and “is suspected of having prompted investors worldwide to invest in this worthless currency.”

The 42-year-old Bulgarian fraudster was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on June 30, 2022.

Three of the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives have been captured.

Rafael Caro-Quintero, considered a godfather of Mexican drug trafficking and wanted for the 1985 murder of a U.S. federal agent, was arrested in Mexico on July 18, 2022.

The owner and operator of a pornography production company charged with sex trafficking and production of child pornography for recruiting young minor women to engage in commercial sex acts by force, fraud and coercion, Michael James Pratt was arrested by Spanish National Police on December 21, 2022, in Madrid, Spain, pursuant to an Interpol Red Notice.

Jose Rodolfo Villarreal-Hernandez, was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for allegedly directing individuals to track and murder a man in Southlake, Texas. Also known as “El Gato,” Villarreal-Hernandez was arrested in Mexico City on January 7, 2023.

Remaining on the notorious list are:

Arnoldo Jimenez, an Illinois man wanted for allegedly murdering his new bride less than 24 hours after marrying her.

 Alejandro Castillo was a North Carolina teen when he was charged with murdering his former girlfriend in 2016, who joined the list a year after crossing the border from Nogales, Arizona into Mexico.

Omar Alexander Cardenas, who is wanted for his alleged involvement in the murder of a man that occurred on August 15, 2019, in a large outdoor shopping center in Sylmar, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.

Alexis Flores, who is wanted for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and murder of a five-year-old girl in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The child was reported missing in late July of 2000, and was found strangled to death in a nearby apartment the following month.

Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias, the alleged leader of MS-13 for all of Honduras,  is charged federally in the Southern District of New York with racketeering conspiracy, cocaine importation conspiracy, and possession and conspiracy to possess machine guns.  

Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel, a 26-year-old man from India wanted for the murder of his wife by stabbing her multiple times while they were both working at a donut shop in Hanover, Maryland, on April 12, 2015.

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