Following guilty pleas by two of the fourteen OneCoin defendants in Argentina, the pair have been sentenced to prison.
Adolfo Domínguez and Aldo Leguizamón will serve three years and six months and four years and three months respectively.
As reported by La Nacion on November 7th, Dominguez’s and Leguizamon’s guilty pleas saw them
freely and voluntarily recognize their intentional participation in the crime, that is, having taken part in a criminal organization organization that was dedicated to offering an alleged cryptocurrency.
It was proven that the cryptocurrencies that were offered as a profitable business opportunity did not exist as such.
“They were not real”, but were part of a “ploy used by the defendants to hide a pyramid scheme”.
Argentinian authorities made their first one coin arrests back in 2020. In 2021 the number of arrested suspects climbed to fourteen.
Three additional suspects have been indicted but remain at large;
- Ruja Ignatova – OneCoin’s founder, missing since 2017
- Konstantin Ignatov – Ruja’s brother; arrested in the US in 2019, plead guilty and awaiting sentencing
- Jose Gordo – Spanish national who oversaw OneCoin scamming in Latin America, OneCoin top earner and still at large and promoting Ponzi schemes to Latin Americans
It is unclear whether Argentinian authorities have sought an international arrest warrant for Gordo (right).
Believed to be residing in Spain, Spanish authorities have thus far failed to take any action against Gordo.
As of September 2021, the remaining twelve Argentinian OneCoin defendants’ defense was focused on recruitment of police officers.
Being a strawman defense that doesn’t excuse their own scamming, it’s unlikely to hold up in court.
La Nacion reports that the “illicit association” component of the OneCoin criminal case is currently at the trial stage. It is unclear when the case will conclude as a whole.
Given the two guilty pleas entered, I’m not anticipating any surprises. Pending conclusion of the case and expected lengthy prison sentences, we’ll keep you posted.