Karl Greenwood, 45, was arrested in Thailand in 2018 and extradited to the United States for his role in selling the alleged cryptocurrency OneCoin, which federal prosecutors in Manhattan call a $4 billion pyramid scheme that defrauded investors. He has been detained since his arrest.
The plea comes as prosecutors for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) step up enforcement against financial crimes related to digital assets. On Tuesday, prosecutors unveiled an indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of crypto exchange FTX, for stealing billions from customer deposits.
“This IOU from the co-founder of OneCoin caps off a week at SDNY that sends a clear signal that we are looking for anyone seeking to exploit the cryptocurrency ecosystem through fraud,” said Damian Williams, the lead federal prosecutor. of Manhattan, in a statement. .
Prosecutors say Greenwood co-founded OneCoin in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2014 with Ruja Ignatova, a German national who prosecutors say is also known as the “Crypto Queen.” The FBI named her to its 10 most wanted list in June, and prosecutors said Friday she remains at large.
A Greenwood attorney declined to comment. He is due April 5 on the three counts to which he pleaded guilty.
Bankman-Fried admitted to errors in risk management at FTX, but said he did not believe he was criminally responsible. He is currently being held in the Bahamas, where FTX is based, and is fighting a US extradition request.
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