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Investors in OneCoin alleges the involvement of BNY Mellon in the $4 billion scheme

Photo of: Janeth Diamond
by Janeth Diamond

The plaintiffs, who together invested approximately $1 million into OneCoin, say that while BNY Mellon processed payments for OneCoin in May 2016, and even referred to it as a possible “Ponzi/pyramid scheme” in an internal investigation that December, it didn’t file a suspicious activity report (SAR) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) until February 2017.

The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) has been accused of playing a key role in the $4 billion Ponzi Scheme OneCoin, just a few days after the publication of its so-called FinCEN files. The undertaking has been accused of stark neglection and also getting itself involved in laundering worth $300 million for the flim-flam. The inclusion of the BNY Mellon to the already existing class-action lawsuit by Donald Berdeaux and Christine Grablis seeks damages against OneCoin with its key stakeholders that include Ruja Ignatova. 

The plaintiffs have assumedly invested close to $1 million to One coin. They further said that BNY Mellon processed the payments for OneCoin in May 2016. They referred to the scheme as a possible Ponzi or a pyramid scheme the year in December that sparked off an internal investigation. But not until February 2017, the next year they filed a suspicious activity report (SAR) with the  Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

The filing also mentioned that BNY Mellon knowingly participated in it knowingly and was the alleged co-conspirators in laundering the same. The plaintiffs accused BNY Mellon of abetting fraud as well as spreading bad faith in commercial business. In one of the statements so released by the BNY Mellon spokesperson, the bank talked about how it always means to protect the integrity of the global financial system. It also said that it doesn’t want to comment on any SAR it may have filed with the US authorities. It has unequivocally refused to comment on anything about the allegation. 

The modified suit has now come into limelight after a popular news source released thousands of secret SARs reports that have flagged suspect transactions with the authorities. Tracking one particular suspicious transaction back in 2016 was a $30 million wiring from one account belonging to a British Virgin Islands-based company, to BNY Mellon who in turn credited another account in Hong Kong. 

What it came forward was a loan that was taken for the purchase of an oilfield, but later emails showed that the loan was never repaid. It in fact showed that $10 million was withdrawn by one of the founders of OneCoin. The US authorities have testified further that they are certain the loan was an instant of proceeds from the OneCoin sale being laundered.

David Silver, the founder of Silver Miller, the lead class counsel said,

“The allegations in the lawsuit expose information that Bank of New York knew about the highly-suspicious nature of those OneCoin transactions but failed to act accordingly.”

Konstantin, brother of Ignatova, was apparently dropped off the class-action filed last month when a settlement was drawn.