Key figure in OneCoin money laundering operations now faced five counts
After repeatedly denying allegations of infringement and relating to the Ponzi OneCoin project, Gilbert Armenta – one of the key figures in OneCoin’s money laundering activities – has officially pleaded guilty to five crimes, including conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering (three offenses); and extortion charge.
One by one, the boss of OneCoin was brought to court
On September 12, 2017, Armenta was indicted by a grand jury on three counts of extortion: conspiracy to commit extortion, attempted extortion, and extortion. Shortly after that, Armenta was arrested in Connecticut on September 13.
According to a proceeding held in New York on September 18, Armenta’s bail amounted to $ 5 million. And while he was not on bail, Armenta was ordered to stay in Manhattan with the curfew and continuous surveillance at 6 pm.
First, in the face of allegations by the court, Armenta asserted that she was not guilty.
On January 24, 2018, DOJ filed an additional indictment, criminal charges against Armenta as follows:
“Armenta currently faces five crimes. These include conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering (three offenses); and conspiracy to extort money.”
According to DOJ’s allegations, Gilbert Armenta supported the implementation of the Ponzi OneCoin plan by:
- Coordinating the opening of OneCoin Ltd. depository bank accounts … at banks located in Mexico and South America.
- Establishing and administering OneCoin “pool accounts” at various international banks.
- Introducing one or more principals of the OneCoin scheme to an online reputation company for the purpose of removing from the internet negative information about OneCoin Ltd.
- Transmitting OneCoin Ltd. fund to pay recruitment commissions to OneCoin members who recruited new OneCoin members, as well as to pay refunds to dissatisfied OneCoin members.
- Transmitting OneCoin Scheme proceeds through bank accounts located in the United States and abroad, and making various misrepresentations to banks regarding the source of the funds, for the purpose of laundering the OneCoin scheme proceeds.
Regarding extortion, DOJ alleges as follows:
“Armenta agreed with others to use threats of physical harm to attempt to collect payment through international wire transfer from an individual in the United Kingdom who they believed had stolen business proceeds originally intended for international wire transfer.”
The same day a replacement indictment was filed, Armenta pleaded guilty to all five counts. On May 29, Armenta’s sentence was confirmed, and the trial began on July 23. Armenta was detained at home for more than three months, after eight months of being detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
At present, Armenta has proposed to postpone his trial indefinitely. However, this delay seemed only to aggravate the anxiety and torment that Armenta was forced to experience.
On July 8, the court denied Armenta’s video trial.
According to information from the court said:
“The application is denied. Defendant provides no specific reasons to find that further delay would cause serious harm to the interest of justice.”
Armenta is currently scheduled for direct sentencing on October 21, 2020.
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