On November 6, 2019, court reporter Matthew Russel Lee of Inner City Press thundered live via Twitter from the courtroom about the OneCoin case. The accused was US attorney Mark S. Scott. The US prosecutors accused him of money laundering and bank fraud involving the OneCoin pyramid scheme. On behalf of OneCoin founder and self-proclaimed cryptoqueen Ruja Ignatova, he is said to have laundered $400 million and earned $50 million in commissions. Mark S. Scott was found guilty on all counts by the jury. He can expect up to 50 years in prison.
The OneCoin Horses
Matthew has reported on almost 3 weeks of the trial and sent the testimonies of the witnesses and the accused to the astonishing world public. On Nov 24, 2019, he published a more detailed blog post on additional details on the OneCoin money-laundering scheme with racehorses and the Dubai-based Phoenix Thoroughbreds fund.
Ignatova’s younger brother, Konstantin Ignatov, was the most important witness of the prosecution. He not only charged his sister and the accused lawyer Scott, but also Amer Abdulaiziz Salman, a businessman from Dubai. He is the founder of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, a fund that invests in racehorses. Abdulaiziz, 56, launched Phoenix Thoroughbreds in 2017 as the “world’s first regulated thoroughbred fund” and has since become one of the most high-profile figures in international racing and bloodstock (Source: Racing Post).
Konstantin Ignatov testified in court that this businessman not only laundered money for OneCoin but also stole $100 million from OneCoin. They wouldn’t have reported the theft because OneCoin would have stolen the money itself.
Already in September 2018, Mark S. Scott told FBI agents that $190m were sent to the Dubai-based investment fund named Phoenix.
Abdulaziz said he created Phoenix as a unique investment fund geared towards providing investors with a “sustainable return realized through acquisition and breeding of top-quality thoroughbreds.” He claimed to have raised $250m but refused to disclose who his investors are. Well, now we know!
According to its website, Phoenix has managed to acquire 300 horses with 27 trainers on five continents.
Laundering and Stealing
According to the accounts of Ignatov and Scott, Amer Abdulaiziz was one of the most important money launderers for the OneCoin scheme and, additionally, he also stole $100 million. From the already stolen money. At some point, even the last OneCoin members will have to realize that Ruja Ignatova cheated on them.
Amer Abdulaziz, after he stole €100m from OneCoin, he started buying racehorses for, like, €25m. [He was] one of the main money-launderers for Ruja. SKonstantin Ignatov as a witness under oath
Sources from horse racing didn’t show themselves to be surprised. Rather, it was said that horses could be used to launder money perfectly.
The allegation was strenuously denied by Phoenix Thoroughbreds via a press release issued on Nov 25, 2019. However, it came to light Abdulaiziz has put Phoenix Thoroughbreds into voluntary liquidation.