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Crypto Queen Ruja Ignatova: Alive or dead after the $4.5B heist?

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Ruja Ignatova’s mysterious disappearance elicits divergent views – Is she alive or dead?

Crypto queen Ruja Ignatova

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  • The life or death of OneCoin founder and alleged scammer crypto queen Ruja Ignatova remains a mystery. 
  • Ignatova scammed investors of $4.5 billion and vanished with no verifiable trace of life or death. 

In what seems like a crime thriller, the mystery of the missing mastermind behind the OneCoin Ponzi scheme, better known as crypto queen Ruja Ignatova, leaves more questions than answers. 

In 2014, Ignatova successfully swindled 3.5 million investors out of $4.5 billion after promising them unimaginable Bitcoin-like returns from her cryptocurrency, OneCoin. 

After the heist, the Oxford-educated Bulgarian woman vanished, not to be traced. Thus fueling the mystery of her story 10 years later. Her dare-devil scam earned her a spot as one of the top ten most-wanted fugitives by the FBI.  

Is Crypto queen Ruja Ignatova alive or dead?

In a recent exclusive by BBC, the media outlet attempted to solve the mystery behind the Ignatova story and whether she’s alive or dead. 

Apparently, Ignatova was allegedly connected to Bulgarian organized crime, which was led by Hristoforos Nikos Amanatidis, alias Taki. Interestingly, Taki was her handler and physical security, shielding her from local and international investigations. 

Additionally, investigations pointed towards possible laundering of Taki’s ‘drug trafficking’ activities through OneCoin operations.

As US and German authorities were closing in on Ignatova, she was forced to flee from Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, to Athens, Greece, in 2017. 

However, Ignatova’s protector could have turned into an aggressor, per investigative journalist Dimitar Stoyanov of ‘’ outlet. 

Reportedly, Ignatova was murdered in late 2018, and her body was dismembered and dumped in the Ionian Sea, located on the west coast of Greece. The murder was allegedly on Taki’s orders, per the BBC report. 

The Mystery continues

However, the BBC report claimed that it couldn’t ‘independently verify the claim’ and deemed it a way to throw them off the investigation. 

Another reason for taking alleged Ignatova’s death with a grain of salt was the fact that she was still amongst the FBI’s top ten wanted list. 

According to the report, Ignatova was included in the list in 2022 and remains on it as of press time. According to experts quoted in the report, the FBI only removes one from the list after a verified death. 

So, her continued presence on the FBI list added a twist to her story. It raised the question of whether she’s alive or not. 

However, the only certain thing was that her OneCoin victims were yet to see a reprieve.

They haven’t been made whole even as Taki associates reclaimed Ingatova’s properties in Dubai. The properties were reportedly acquired with proceeds from the OneCoin scam. 


Benjamin is a Telecommunication Engineering graduate who is passionate about crypto-markets and unraveling market trends. Armed with charts and patterns, he's interested in making the intricate, complex landscape of digital assets more palatable for every user.
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