Despite false testimony from a prosecution witness linked to the “Cryptoqueen” fugitive Ruja Ignatova, the lawyer who funneled $400 million from the OneCoin cryptocurrency fraud, Mark Scott, will not receive a new trial.
US District Judge Edgardo Ramos, in a ruling on Monday, rejected Scott’s request for a fresh trial. The 54-year-old had been found guilty in November 2019 of money-laundering conspiracy and bank fraud conspiracy. He has also been accused of profiting $50 million by establishing a fraudulent investment fund that facilitated Ignatova’s siphoning of funds from the $4 billion scam.
During the trial, Scott maintained that he was unaware of OneCoin’s fraudulent nature.
Lawyer Denied Trial
According to a report from Bloomberg, the judge’s decision denying the new trial request clears the path for Scott’s sentencing.
Scott, previously a partner at Locke Lord LLP, had employed the ill-gotten funds to finance an extravagant lifestyle, which included purchasing a 57-foot yacht, multimillion-dollar residences in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and indulging in luxury watches and vehicles, including three Porsches, as outlined by prosecutors.
United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos rejected the lawyers’ plea for a fresh trial, expressing doubt that “an innocent person might have been wrongly convicted,” even in light of the perjured testimony presented by Konstantin Ignatov during the 2019 trial.
Ignatov, a government witness who confessed to assisting his sister Ruja Ignatova in the OneCoin fraud, had provided false testimony.
Meanwhile, Arlo Devlin-Brown, Scott’s attorney, announced plans to appeal Judge Ramos’ ruling, expressing disappointment with the court’s decision not to grant a new trial. In an emailed statement, he said,
“We are disappointed that the court did not grant a new trial given the undisputed evidence that the Government’s sole cooperating witness perjured himself.”
OneCoin is one of the biggest known scams, defrauding $4 billion from 3.5 million individuals since its launch in 2014 in Bulgaria. While Ruja “CryptoQueen” Ignatova is still at large and remains a fugitive on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Most Wanted list, various other individuals linked to the notorious scam are either facing charges, have been found guilty, or are currently evading authorities.
Earlier this year, United States authorities filed charges against Irina Dilkinska, formerly the Head of Legal and Compliance at OneCoin, accusing her of involvement in the scam. She was subsequently extradited from Bulgaria to the United States.