- Wanted fugitive Ruja Ignatova hasn’t been seen since October 2017.
- The “crypto-queen” allegedly scammed billions out of investors before disappearing for years.
- A recent property listing hints that Ignatova is alive and still on the run, reports say.
Listings for a property in the UK may have just located the “crypto-queen” Ruja Ignatova years after her disappearance in 2017.
Bulgarian-born Ignatova, 42, is wanted by the FBI for allegedly scamming investors out of $4 billion between 2014 and 2016 in a Ponzi scheme using her now-defunct company OneCoin. She was charged in absentia in 2019 for wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering.
In October 2017, she vanished until documents related to a penthouse apartment in London seemingly pointed to her whereabouts, the New York Post reported. Previously, it was unclear if Ignatova was still alive and on the run.
The lead was discovered by investigative reporter and host of “The Missing Cryptoqueen” podcast Jamie Bartlett. He alleges that Ignatova initially purchased the property under a company name, but was forced to be named as the company’s beneficiary under a new rule, per the New York Post.
Earlier this month, Ignatova’s lawyers filed a formal claim on the property with financial regulators and Ignatova was listed as the apartment’s “beneficial owner,” the report reads. The penthouse was originally listed for over $15 million before being dropped to around $13 million.
The posting was reportedly taken down after the property agent learned of its connection to the fugitive. It remains unclear whether or not the apartment has been sold.
Ignatova is currently the only woman on the FBI’s most wanted list, and she’s the 11th woman to appear on the list in its 72-year history, Insider’s Sarah Al-Arshani reported Tuesday.
Bartlett told UK-based digital publication iNews that the move was “one of the most interesting developments in the story.”
“It suggests she is still alive, and there are documents out there somewhere which contain vital clues as to her recent whereabouts,” Bartlett said.
He added: “If nothing else it should make it easier for the authorities to freeze that asset — and maybe even start getting money back to victims.”