On the list of the 10 most wanted of the FBI a woman from Bulgaria, for its alleged role in a fraud cryptocurrency, known as OneCoin.
Federal investigators accuse the wanted woman of defrauding investors around the world by extracting more than $4 billion.
Ruja Ignatova missing since 2017, when US officials signed an arrest warrant and investigators began to close in on her.
In 2014, OneCoin began offering buyers a commission if they sold the cryptocurrency to more people.
FBI agents claim that OneCoin was a worthless currency and was never secured by the blockchain technology used by other cryptocurrencies.
According to the allegations of federal prosecutors, it was essentially a Ponzi scheme (investment pyramid) disguised as a cryptocurrency.
“She timed her scheme perfectly, taking advantage of the frenzy of the early days of cryptocurrency,” said Damian Williams, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan.
The FBI adds fugitives to its most wanted list when it believes the general public may be able to help track them down.
According to a statement, a reward of $100,000 is being offered for any information led to the arrest of the woman, who was charged in 2019 with eight counts, including wire fraud and securities fraud.
She is the only woman on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list.
Jamie Bartlett, who highlighted the issue in a podcast he did for the BBC, said the FBI announcement increased the chances of him being arrested.
Bartlett, who has been investigating the case for years, said that one of the reasons it was so difficult to locate Ignatova is that she disappeared with at least 500 million dollars which helped her get away from the law.
“We also believe that has high quality fake identity documents and has changed her appearance“, he added, while not ruling out that she is not alive.
Ignatova was last seen boarding a flight from Bulgaria to Greece in 2017 and has been missing since then.
With information from BBC