Cryptoqueen accomplice faces extradition to the U.S. over OneCoin ponzi scheme: Law360

Quick Take

  • Christopher Hamilton is facing extradition to the U.S. after a UK judge rejected his bid to halt the process.
  • Hamilton is embroiled in the OneCoin scam alongside international fugitive “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova.

"Cryptoqueen" accomplice Christopher Hamilton is facing extradition to the U.S. after a British judge rejected his bid to delay the process on Tuesday.

District Judge Nicholas Rimmer rejected the bid to hold off on extradition, Law360 reported. Hamilton is accused of laundering $105 million in connection with the OneCoin ponzi scheme. 

OneCoin, led by the now infamous international fugitive Ruja Ignatova known as the "Cryptoqueen," sold educational cryptocurrency trading packages to its members, who were then given commissions to sell packages to more new members. At its peak, the company claimed to have as many as 3 million members from around the globe.

OneCoin "induced investors all over the world to invest in this actually worthless currency," according to Europol. The Ponzi scheme is estimated to have netted about $4 billion. Ignatova is on Europe and the FBI's most wanted list. It is widely considered the biggest scam yet in the history of crypto. 

Hamilton's co-accused Robert McDonald avoided extradition on human rights grounds. McDonald cares for his wife who suffers from progressive multiple sclerosis, according to Law360, and per the judge's written statement separation from his wife would "be extremely harsh in light of her poor health." This is based on Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which includes the right to respect for private and family life.

The case will now be seen by Secretary of State Priti Patel, at which point Hamilton is entitled to appeal the decision.

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