A 52-year-old Singaporean man has been found guilty of promoting the infamous OneCoin cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme more than three years ago.
Man to Pay $72,000 As Fine
According to reports by local media The Straits Times, Fok Fook Seng, a middle-age Singaporean citizen, was convicted for engaging in marketing activities that link to OneCoin between January 2016 and June 2017.
Fook Seng was charged in April 2019 for breaching the Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Selling (Prohibition) Act. According to the Singapore police, the crime was first of its kind, and the man will pay the sum of S$100,000 (appr $72,000) as fine for his offense.
The 52-year-old used large scale events, social media platforms, and locally registered companies, including wholesale trading firm “A Roboclean (S),” to promote the scheme to lure unsuspecting investors.
The police noted that Fook Seng and his partner – who was charged for the same offense but yet to receive a verdict – were able to onboard about 1,180 investors within and outside Singapore through their rigorous promotions.
The victims were required to purchase packages that contain online educational courses. The welcome packages also included free promotional tokens that investors could supposedly use to generate more OneCoin tokens through mining. But in reality, it was all just a sham.
Aside from the free tokens, participants were told they could increase their earnings by referring more people to join the scheme and purchase the packages like every MLM Pyramid scheme.
OneCoin Founder’s Brother Pleads Guilty
Launched in Bulgaria in 2014, OneCoin was one of the biggest scams in the crypto industry, stealing almost $4 billion from investors around the world. Although the scheme started failing in 2016, the promoters continued adding new members until 2019.
Many countries, including the United States, New Zealand, and China, have classified OneCoin as fraudulent, warning investors to stay clear of it.
In November last year, the brother of the cryptocurrency’s founder pleaded guilty to money laundering and fraud charges in the US.
The founder, Ruja Ignatov, left the company in 2017 and disappeared. Her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, took over OneCoin’s operations. He was later arrested in March 2019 by the US authorities and initially charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Konstantin could spend up to 90 years in prison.
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