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Man’s bizarre excuse for $588 million cryptocurrency scam, OneCoin

Mark Scott splashed his cash on yachts, pricey homes, fast cars and fancy watches – but his luxurious lifestyle was built on a huge cryptocurrency scam, a court has heard.

Mr Scott was a partner at prestigious US law firm Locke Lord before quitting to focus on his crypto dealings.

But he was later accused of using a variety of shell companies, overseas bank accounts and dodgy investment funds to cover up the source of $US400 million ($A588 million) he allegedly helped launder.

That cash was from Ruja Ignatova, a Bulgarian woman behind the OneCoin cryptocurrency system dubbed the “cryptoqueen”.

However, Assistant US Attorney Nicholas Folly claimed OneCoin was actually a fraudulent Ponzi scheme, raising billions from eager international investors who believed they were investing in a new digital currency.

In legal documents seen by news.com.au, it was alleged the lawyer laundered $US400 million ($A588 million) from 2016 onwards.

“OneCoin used the success story of Bitcoin to induce victims to invest under the guise that they, too, could get rich through their investments,” New York State lawyers said in one filing, according to the BBC.

“This was, of course, completely false because the price of OneCoin was a fiction and not based on supply and demand.”

Legal documents state Mr Scott and others “knowingly did combine, conspire, confederate, and agree together and with each other to commit money laundering” and that they did so “knowing that the property involved in certain financial transactions represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity”.

The documents state Mr Scott took part in “financial transactions which in fact involved the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, to wit, approximately $400 million in proceeds of a pyramid scheme involving a purported cryptocurrency known as OneCoin”.

According to Bloomberg, Mr Scott committed the alleged crime because he was inspired by a “...

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