A victim of an alleged crypto Ponzi scheme has told mainstream media she is racked with guilt after her family lost £216,000.
Jen McAdam, 48, invested in OneCoin after being promised astronomical returns (she had heard about one person making £3.5 million in a month for bringing people into the fold). And she also recruited family members, having been told that the currency was about to be put onto an independent exchange and was rapidly increasing in value.
“I remember buying my first package I was so excited and I thought I changed my family’s life financially,” McAdam told Metro.
But shortly afterwards, she was informed that “there was just too much money for the bank to work with” and that there were safety concerns because Bitcoin had been hacked. “Even though many years ago I worked in a bank I didn’t question it, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the fear.’ McAdam was then branded a hater when recruiters thought she was asking too many questions.
She was later told that OneCoin did not have a blockchain. The only thing determining its value was the company. She now runs a support group which has thousands of members who were victims. “They have nothing left, it’s tearing families from their core, it’s ripping them apart,” she comments.
“People have re-mortgaged houses, entered a lifetime of debt, life savings all gone and in the end all they have is worthless Ponzi tokens. If you have no knowledge, even the basic of understanding in this industry and you’re thinking of investing, don’t. Keep your money and run in the other direction.”
This is the end
In March, a US District Attorney announced charges against those heading up OneCoin
Konstantin Ignatov was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. Ignatov’s sister Ruja, the founder of OneCoin, was charged with wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
Berman said: “As alleged, these defendants created a multi-billion-dollar ‘cryptocurrency’ company based completely on lies and deceit. They promised big returns and minimal risk, but, as alleged, this business was a pyramid scheme based on smoke and mirrors more than zeroes and ones. Investors were victimised while the defendants got rich. Our office has a history of successfully targeting, arresting, and convicting financial fraudsters, and this case is no different.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney, Jr. claimed that OneCoin was a cryptocurrency existing only in the minds of its creators and their co-conspirators. Unlike authentic cryptocurrencies, which maintain records of their investors’ transaction history, it had no real value.
“It offered investors no method of tracing their money, and it could not be used to purchase anything. In fact, the only ones who stood to benefit from its existence were its founders and co-conspirators. Whether you’re dealing with virtual currency or cold, hard cash, we urge the public to exercise due diligence with any investment,” he stated.