OneCoin Crypto Ponzi, Mark Scott and DOJ Case Goes Forward: Were Investors Victims?

In March 2019, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York issued a release announcing that the Manhattan U.S. Attorney will be charging the leaders of OneCoin. The release referred to OneCoin as a “pyramid scheme” that involves the sale of “fraudulent” crypto.

According to a report by Finance Feeds, the OneCoin defendants include Konstantin Ignatov, Ruja Ignatova, and Mark Scott. The trial will take place on November 4, 2019. The final pre-trial conference will take place on October 28, 2019.

In preparation, it appears that Scott filed a Memorandum of Law in Support of Defense Motions in Limnie. Therein, he makes several requests, such as:

Not permitting the government to refer to OneCoin investors as “victims” because they are not legally cognizable victims of offenses charged against Scott.

Not permitting the Government to introduce evidence concerning the amount of money an individual invested in OneCoin or resulting hardship – including deals that are not relevant and may be prejudicial.

Not permitting the government to call a witness who will testify that he decided not to invest in OneCoin after reading online that it was a scam because the evidence is hearsay and not relevant and is prejudicial.

Not permitting the government to introduce evidence of how Scott spent the funds he received as fees from the operations of Fenero Funds.

Not permitting the government to call an expert to testify concerning what “money laundering” is because such testimony is not necessary to assist the jury and there is a risk that it will communicate a different meaning of the term than the Court will issue in its instructions.

On the other side, the Government filed its own Motions in Limine, requesting the Court:

  • Permit certain statements made out of court by defendants and co-conspirators because the statements are either non-hearsay or are subject to a hearsay exception
  • Not permit the defendant from offering evidence concerning his state of mind absent evidence he was aware of such evidence during the relevant time period
  • Permitting evidence concerning defendant’s knowing participation in the charged conspiracies, including evidence widely available in the public domain
  • Not permitting defendant’s proposed expert testimony
  • Permit evidence of defendant’s possession of a loaded semi-automatic handgun at the time of his arrest
  • Permitting foreign business records

Both motions include legal arguments supporting the parties’ positions. Now that the motions have been filed, it will be for the Court to decide as to what is admissible and not admissible.

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