1 min ago |
By Jamie Redman – |
Part Deux! Onecoin Buyer Beware: The Definitive Ponzi Exposé
It’s been a year since news.Bitcoin.com interviewed Timothy “Tim Tayshun” Curry, who shared his explosive investigation and research into the Onecoin scheme with our readers at news.Bitcoin.com. Due to the nature of the evidence presented, the article went viral with over 50,000 views throughout the first week and is one of the most viewed articles in our history. We reached out for a full update, including the most recent turn of events which may shock and appall the entire cryptocurrency community.
Bitcoin.com (BC): I’d like to discuss everything you and your team have uncovered over the past 13 months since you shared with our readers extensive information about Onecoin (AKA: “Onelife Network”). But, first, news.Bitcoin.com recently covered a story about Onecoin operatives “threatening to sue” a number of journalists and detractors who have openly called them a fraud. Is it true that this time an individual Onecoin ‘promoter’ has filed a lawsuit against you in Federal Court, seeking damages for “Defamation, and Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations?”
Tim Tayshun (TT): Yes. 77 charges have been filed against me in Federal Court by a banker/ magazine publisher who has broadly promoted Onecoin/ Onelife (OLN).
Chris Principe, the publisher of Financial IT Magazine and Fin-Future Magazine, has promoted Onecoin, Onelife Network, and Ruja Ignatova through a series of events, speaking engagements, and magazine covers (on both magazines he publishes). The nature of the lawsuit is categorized as “320 Torts – Personal Injury – Assault, Libel, & Slander.” Onecoin members are absolutely relishing in the implications! According to Ken Labine, a long-time Onecoin promoter and “top earner” from Canada, Chris Principe (plaintiff) is attempting to sue me for “millions of dollars,” on the allegation of tarnishing his reputation.
This (obnoxious) video gives the narrative to the drama, and frenzy, as seen from a top Onecoin “Leader’s” perspective. Labine claims in the video that he too will look into a “class-action lawsuit” against me for the “victims” I have scared away from the “Onecoin opportunity (sic).” Labine has also published completely false and defamatory information about my family and myself in videos, which I have had backed up as evidence to the ruthless lengths ‘Onecoinists’ will attempt to destroy the credibility of those exposing their scam. Here’s one of many examples.
My last interview with news.Bitcoin.com covered a lot of information. Particularly, we showed that Chris Principe’s (The plaintiff) magazine, Financial IT, “Ruja Cover” (AKA: “February 2016 Issue”) was nothing more than an exact reprint of a “January 2016 Issue,” but with a different cover and two-page insert.
BC: Is the lawsuit the first Onecoin/ Onelife Network “promoter- related” case which is set to be litigated against a Consumer Advocate as yourself?
TT: Correct. The lawsuit is, of course, completely frivolous, and as BC and other media have reported, Onecoin itself has attempted to extort, threatened to sue, positioned to manipulate, and/ or otherwise intimidate and silence multiple individuals exposing the scheme. To me this case seems more “strategic,” and Federal cases procedurally differ quite a bit. The documents in my defense will evidence that in February 2015, both prior to and post publication of his new magazine cover, Principe had been made very aware of the overwhelming evidence against Onecoin, from multiple sources, which even then included numerous international government and regulatory warnings, criminal investigations, an inordinate number of bank closures (seizures/ freezes), and criticism from the blockchain technology space. Even if excluding much of the founders and top leaders questionable histories, simple “Economics 101” alone strongly supports this being designed as a scam from day one. As a so-called “professional” in his industry, and someone dealing with “chain supply financing and compliance,” he should have been aware, even if the community had not spelled it out for him via numerous channels and communications with direct Govt links, etc..
BC: Did you attempt to contact Financial IT Magazine prior to them ”RE-printing” that issue, to make them aware what they were doing?
TT: Yes! And I actually even upgraded my international calling plan around that time, as I had begun reaching out significantly! The issue was a catalyst as a Concerned Citizens and Consumer Advocate warning against the obvious Onecoin scam. Myself, and several others began taking this role, and several of us had emailed Principe and/ or Financial IT and staff both prior to and post publication, as evidenced below. All of our emails went unreturned. Financial IT themselves disabled their own Facebook page in March, presumably due to the scrutiny; leaving numerous concerned comments and direct questions unanswered.
BC: How much of an impact do you think this issue had on investor/ victims or on their ability to recruit others?
TT: Both the issue and Chris Principe’s influence to the Onecoin/Onelife Network remains significant. Former Onecoin/OLN “Double Ruby Leader,” Jen McAdam, grew a network of over 400 members in her “downline.” She had put in €10,000 personally, which her father had left her when he passed away. Her team in Scotland and the U.K. was responsible for bringing in over a quarter of a million euro prior to her coming to the realization that Onecoin is a scam, and not at all what the company had marketed to her (audio). Contrary to scores of mid to top-level “Leaders” who have abandoned the project silently, leaving their teams hanging; McAdam turned to advocacy, leading the first official “Onecoin Victim’s Support Group” on Whatsapp. Since April it has grown to over 250 members and growing every week! Her current position on the subject could not be further from how she spoke about it on her Facebook last year.
BC: news.Bitcoin.com reported that Hungarian authorities have put together a massive Onecoin taskforce. Are any other countries beginning to take aggressive action against the scheme? And I think everyone wants to know why it seems to be taking so long?
TT: Onecoin and its leadership have always pitched both recruiting and “investment” from day one, and due to this business model, thirty or so Onecoin related arrests in at least five countries on three continents, have brought the situation from “bad” to “worse” for Onecoin/OLN. So far, India is leading the charge, but this week Italy’s Financial Authority (AGCM) just fined OneLife Network 2 million euro and sanctioned other Onecoin related companies & affiliates another 595,000 euro:
- On May 18th, The Hindu reported on continued Onecoin related investigations, and 18 (now 23) arrests taking place in India, stating, “In this sort of scheme, investors become the perpetrators as well as victims. It is clear that this is a Ponzi scheme.“ – Tushar Doshi, Deputy Commissioner, Navi Mumbai Police (Crime Branch) (S.B.), India
- “The EOW (Economic Offence Wing) hopes to arrest more people as investigations into the money trail proceeds. Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale has formed a special investigation team, comprising of four Assistant Police Inspectors and 15 personnel, under Senior Police Inspector Shivaji Awate.”
- Less than 2 months later, on July 10th, 2017, The Indian Express (Daily Newspaper) reported that Ruja Ignatova (“the founder of the Ponzi Scheme”) and “Ereena Andrevas Belikinska”[sic] (presumably “Irina Andrevas Dilkinska” – Onecoin/ OLN’s “Head of Legal and Compliance”) were also added to their charge sheet.
BC: So, in your opinion, Principe’s participation was not just a one-time mistake?
TT: Oh, God no! And by the way, while Principe has filed this Complaint as an “individual,” or at least by appearance, he is inextricably sewn to an on-going Onecoin scandal based on his own choices and actions alone, and for which he has still not removed himself from, despite the negative global publicity and even sanctions! Principe’s name, statements, and videos promoting Onecoin appear in at least a dozen languages around the world. It seems to me this lawsuit aims to both deflect any personal responsibility and to intimidate other Onecoin detractors, not just myself. To be clear, Principe’s own voluntary actions and extended participation in promoting Onecoin speaks for itself. Why he seeks to place the blame of negative recourse to his “professional reputation” on myself, when I am only one of many who have publicly exposed this… I’ll leave up to the readers to decide.
- Chris Skinner, one of the most authoritative voices on Fintech anywhere, is a sought-after speaker, author and independent commentator on Financial Markets. According to Blockchain Specialist, Bjorn Bjerke (whom we’ll touch on later), Skinner had never agreed to being on the cover of the magazine (let alone anywhere near Ruja Ignatova). Nor for Fin-Future to publish his article in Principe’s magazine.
- Furthermore, the team behind the distributed ledger project, IOTA, were approached by Fin-Future for their desirable introspective. When offered coverage in Fin-Future, however, they made it clear that they do not want to be associated with Principe publications or Onecoin and they never gave Principe permission to publish or use their website!
BC: This all sounds very Deja Vous of Onecoin’s marketing with the Forbes issue back in the early days. Would you agree?
TT: Yes. I began really paying more attention to Onecoin in Fall 2015, after the fake Ruja Ignatova Forbes “cover and interview” was exposed. I realized that these scammers had absolutely no moral backbone, as evidenced by their checkered past and long-standing involvement in previous schemes like Bigcoin, Prosperclub, Sitetalk (video), Unaico, OPN, Bonofa, Univerteam, Conligus, Weshare Crowdfunding, most of which Onecoin began acquiring as “Partners,” and all of which were financially devastating to their victims ….as the list grew. In addition to our previous interview, much of this was covered in mine and others letters/ emails to Principe and Financial IT staffers, as mentioned earlier.
BC: What compelled you to continue following all this?
TT: It was a real-life crime/ mystery drama that would negatively affect the real cryptocurrency space. I aimed to help somehow mitigate the damage to public perception, as well as regulatory treatment of real crypto, since I figured that if so many people were falling for this, that once it all came tumbling down, which I was convinced, the general public, and perhaps even government regulators, would hear “Onecoin Ponzi/ Pyramid Collapse/, etc.,” and automatically just think “bitcoin” and “all those magic internet monies!”
So, when the Financial IT issue was still pushed out, despite many of our efforts to warn its publishers early enough to stop or retract it, I knew I needed to obtain a hard copy for myself. Members had already begun to develop into over-zealous cult-like followers, ala “Paycoin,” and I knew they would continue accusing me (us) of “making up negative publicity.” So, I bit the bullet and purchased a hard copy of the issue for myself for $20.00 (bitcoin not accepted, of course).
BC: What is the substance of the 77 counts against you in the Federal Lawsuit?
A majority of the charges revolve around Tweets from myself (@ezcoinaccess) and comments made on Behind MLM using words or #hashtags: #onecoin, #ponzi, #ponzi-pimp, #pimp, #pimping, #shill, #paid, #scam, which he is labeling “Defamation.” Principe also complains of “Intentional Interference With Contractual Relations” (Demand for Trial By Jury).
The plaintiff’s complaint seems to take a critical view of the work at Behind MLM (a popular blog/ news site which analyzes network marketing companies business models). However, Kevin Thompson, recognized as one of the top MLM Attorney’s in the industry today, and who has written some interesting articles on “cryptocurrency and MLM,” had the following to say about Behind MLM:
Behind MLM has extensively covered the Onecoin scam, with exactly 179 Onecoin related news posts on the subject (at the time of writing), as it breaks; documenting its progression since its first review on September 23, 2014, and citing its sources.
Some of the plaintiff’s most interesting statements in the complaint are under the title:
“FACTUAL BASIS FOR COMPLAINT:”
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS #25-29
Chris Principe’s attorney specifically seems to make a point to assert that Plaintiff wasn’t “paid” by either “Ms. Ignatova” or “Onecoin Ltd.” However, and importantly, he neglects to make any mention of any number of “shell companies” established by the company to facilitate banking, prior to their final public accounts being shut down, frozen or seized!
At minimum, the company (ie., Onecoin affiliated companies) have set up bank accounts under all of the following names to receive & pay-out money/ commissions:
- One EUX, LLC;
- International Marketing Services; (acquired under OPN/ Sitetalk Partnership)
- Vernada Trading Pte. Ltd;
- Zala Group LTD;
- IMS Marketing Tanzania Ltd;
- International Marketing Services Pte. Ltd;
- IMS International Marketing services GmBH; (Source: “Global Investor Alert!”)
- Educamax Services SRL;
- Foshan Everbright Import & Export Company Limited
- Eastern Project Investments Limited.
See HERE for an extensive, but still incomplete list and dates of additional “shell companies” and bank accounts which The company (ie., “Onecoin”) has had shut down, frozen or seized.
TO BE CONTINUED
Coinfest.org is encouraging the community’s support to help Tim win the fight against Principe (and Onecoin, in general).
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
“Scams like Onecoin have a negative impact on the entire cryptocurrency community. With that in mind, we are happy to assist Timothy “TimTayshun” Curry, a long-time Coinfest organizer and promoter of free education on cryptocurrency (ie., www.newafricaradio.net), whose personal crusade against Onecoin has prevented many potential victims from falling prey to their obvious scheme, as well as educating victims about real cryptocurrency. The signatories to our secure 3-of-6 multisig wallet will ensure that any donated funds left over (after litigation-related expenses) go directly to spreading true cryptocurrency.” – Andrew Wagnar, Founder, Coinfest.Org