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THE FBI has added a Bulgarian woman dubbed the 'Crypto Queen' to its infamous 10 most wanted list after she stole billions in the biggest scam EVER.

On the run since 2017, Dr Ruja Ignatova took off with over £10 billion after duping more than a million people into investing in her crypto currency 'OneCoin'.

4The 'Crypto Queen' took off with billions in 2017, and has now been added to the FBI's top 10 most wanted listCredit: Universal News & Sport 4A $100,000 reward has been put up by the FBI as the bureau steps up its hunt for the world's most notorious scammerCredit: Universal News & Sport 4Dr Ruja Ignatova has been dubbed 'the most successful criminal in history'Credit: Universal News & Sport

The 42-year-old branded her crypto currency as the replacement for Bitcoin, but flashy sales pitches and promises of quick money turned out to be a massive swindle.

Officials said that it was not backed by any blockchain system - the digital ledger that governs the crypto world - meaning the coin dubbed 'The Bitcoin Killer' was actually worthless.

The virtual Ponzi scheme raked in an estimated $13 billion for Ignatova and her co-conspirators - before its creator mysteriously vanished.

Her co-founder Sebastian Greenwood was arrested in 2018, while her brother Konstantin Ignatov pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering in connection with the scheme in 2019.

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Her whereabouts remain unknown, but her brother alleges that she told him she had sourced a "big passport" before her disappearance.

Many believe that Dr Ruja may be hiding in Russia, while others speculate that she is being protected by powerful people in Bulgaria.

However, others allege that the most likely whereabouts of the 'Crypto Queen' is Dubai, after OneCoin victims filed a lawsuit against the organisation alleging $500 million is still in bank accounts in the country.

Bitcoin, the king of crypto currencies that Ignatova set out to topple, has crashed in recent months - leading many to lose fortunes in the process.

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However, leaked documents from Dubai courts found that Dr Ruja may secretly be one of the virtual currency's biggest holders.

It is unclear exactly how much Bitcoin the OneCoin creator has, but the legal case in Dubai alleges that she procured approximately €50m of the virtual currency from the son of a wealthy Emirati business tycoon in 2015.

Following the crash of the virtual currency this year, Dr Ruja may have quietly lost millions.

The leaked filed were posted online by a lawyer who crowned the fraudster as "the most successful criminal in history."

The Crypto Queen

The legendary scam was launched in September 2014, and Ignatova successfully branded OneCoin as a "safe and easy" money-maker despite crypto currencies being relatively new at the time.

Investors were encouraged to recruit friends and family with the promise of bigger payouts, a system that conned people from over 175 countries.

As bitcoin took off, her "mass market" alternative continued to grow with it.

After her success, Dr Ruja went from being a consultant to a celebrity in high demand across the globe.

She addressed adoring fans across the world, and in 2016 walked out to a packed Wembley stadium accompanied by fireworks.

But behind this success, the founder knew it was all a big swindle.

After securing global success, Dr Ruja reportedly got wind the FBI were onto the fact OneCoin's "price" was a completely made-up figure.

In October 2017, she was due to reveal how investors could start cashing in their coins at an event in Lisbon - but she never showed up.

Dr Ruja has never been seen since, and she now finds herself on the list of the world's most sought after criminals.

4Dr Ruja Ignatova vanished after conning billions from investors in over 175 countriesCredit: OneCoinOfficialPage/Facebook

News Source: the-sun.com

Tags: the world’s most world’s most the world’s queen’ crypto currencies most wanted list universal news took off her brother the virtual billions

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I vacuum my lawn every week to keep it pristine – my neighbours thought I’d lost the plot but now everyone’s doing it

WHILE many people are mourning their once-luscious garden lawns, scorched by the hot weather, Dawne Deeks is making neighbours green with envy.

Teaching assistant Dawne, 51, a married mum of two, is not facing a hosepipe ban, but should that come it is no problem as all she uses to tend her garden is a vacuum cleaner.

9Teaching assistant Dawne Deeks uses a vacuum cleaner to keep her garden pristineCredit: Huw Evans 9Dawn has spent £600 laying high-quality fake grass to transform her garden and has imitation flowers, tooCredit: Huw Evans

She spent £600 laying high-quality fake grass to transform her garden and has imitation flowers, too.

She says: “Around 80 per cent of my garden is fake, which means it’s super-easy to look after and saves me a fortune on my water bill.

“And instead of having to regularly head out with my hosepipe, I vacuum my grass.

“Walking out in my garden with my trusty Dyson, most people would think I’m going to empty it or give it a clean.

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"Instead, I run the extension cord to its full length and use it on my garden.

“Within a few minutes, all the loose dirt, leaves and grit is sucked up and the grass is showroom perfect.”

Parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are currently under a hosepipe ban, while Sussex, Kent and Pembrokeshire are set to be hit with the same shortly.

But for people such as Dawne who have already ditched real grass for fake, this will never be an issue.

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Insurance firm Aviva says one in ten homeowners now has a fake lawn, while a poll of Fabulous online readers found one in five readers would vacuum their lawns if this were an option.

During the covid lockdowns, demand for artificial grass soared — the number of Google searches during May 2020 had almost tripled the number a year before.

But conservationists worry about the environmental impact of plastic grass – it can’t be recycled, removes wildlife habitat and can contaminate the soil below.

And environmental gardening experts say plastic grass can make flooding worse and also get twice as hot as normal grass.

But Dawne says her mixture of fake grass and some real plants has worked well for her.

She says: “My garden is an amazing mix of real and faux and I reckon we have found the happy medium to keep everyone happy.

“We don’t have a hosepipe ban at the moment in South Wales, but if we do get one I’ll be OK.

"Lately, I’ve been driving past people’s houses with dry gardens.

‘It’s the perfect lawn, no matter what the weather’

“It makes me feel lucky I have a little patch of paradise with my faux turf and flowers.

"Having the greenery in this heat is really refreshing.

“While many people may think Hoovering the lawn is bonkers, for me it has been a weekly or fortnightly ritual since we laid our fake grass.”

Dawne has lived in her four-bedroom home in Bridgend with husband Stuart, 57, a car production manager, for 27 years.

They also have sons Casey, 22, and Corey, 21 — and raising two kids while trying to keep the garden in shape had been hard before they switched to synthetic.

Dawne says: “When we first moved into the house, it had a huge backyard covered in normal grass which took hours to mow.

“But with a full-time job and two lively lads I never had much time for my gardening.

“So ten years ago I decided it was time to turn the garden into a mini-island paradise but on a budget.

“My husband watched YouTube tutorials and built our own gazebo — but that was just the start.”

9Before investing in artificial grass, Dawn's lawn looked patchyCredit: Supplied 9Dawn completes the look of her garden with ornaments, furniture and a mix of real and fake plantsCredit: Huw Evans

The same year, Dawne and Stuart built a shed, a glass house for potting and sectioned off part of the lawn with decking.

But Dawne was still not happy with the lawn.

She says: “Bordered by the decking, it looked scruffy and wouldn’t grow properly.

“So we decided to lay artificial grass to give it uniformity and year-round colour.”

She says: “I researched the fake turf available. I learnt that if you skimp and buy cheaply it gets mouldy, slippery and doesn’t last.

“Ten years on, thanks to regular Hoovering, it looks as good as it did the day it was laid.

‘Neighbours thought I’d lost the plot’

“It’s the perfect lawn, no matter what the weather, and doesn’t need mowing or watering, which is great with the soaring costs of water bills and the recent dry spell we’ve had.

“I just have a quick whiz over it all with the Hoover. It doesn’t have any effect on my electricity bill, it’s a minimal cost.”

At first, neighbours were shocked to see Dawne Hoovering her grass.

She says: “They thought I’d lost the plot. I would see them looking through their windows.

"One did ask me what I was doing. But when I explained, they thought it was a brilliant idea.

“Now everyone’s doing it. It means we spend less time weeding and mowing.”

Over the past five years Dawne has also spent £500 buying more than 200 fake blooms.

She says: “I get them on eBay or Amazon and in the last few years the quality of so-called plastic flowers has risen dramatically.

“They sell in bunches for around £4 and once you start using them you won’t look back. I rotate them among the real plants.

“When seedlings are slow to grow you can pop in plastic plants and it instantly creates a fuller, more lush-looking garden.

“The plastic flowers simply need a wash or dust and if you rotate them regularly they don’t fade in the sun.

“And when winter comes you can still enjoy flowers.

“Most of my friends even have trouble telling the difference between the real flowers and the fake ones.”

Her garden also has a bargain water feature she bought on sale for a third of its original price.

She says: “I’ve always been keen on saving money and wanted a water feature like the type you see in posh hotel resorts.

One did ask me what I was doing. But when I explained, they thought it was a brilliant idea.

Dawne Deeks

" I finally found the perfect one, ex-display at a local garden centre. It retails for £3,500, I got it for £1,500.”

Dawne and Stuart also have a gravelled area in their garden, which they laid themselves, and a barbecue area.

She gets a lot of her garden plants and accessories free on Facebook Marketplace, or cheap from budget stores such as the Poundshop.

She says: “I see people spending tens of thousands on gardens and look at mine and am proud we’ve done it all ourselves.

“If you put in some fake grass and invest in quality plastic plants — as well as the real ones — you can see your garden take shape in just a few days.

“The garden instantly becomes usable, especially with young children, and you have more space for the family to enjoy.

“I know some people are against faux turf.

“But my garden is always sparkling, plus it can be used all year round.

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“The initial cost might seem a lot but you will never have to spend it again, and it will save thousands on your water bill and always look perfect.

“All it needs is a quick vacuum — and then you can relax with a cocktail.”

But should you fake it?

SUN gardening expert Veronica Lorraine writes: Sadly, although it may look fab for the first couple of years, fake grass does absolutely nothing to encourage crucial wildlife and add biodiversity to a garden.

It strips insects of their homes, denies worms and birds food and sounds the death knell for the soil underneath.

Fake turf has a lifespan – and whether it’s five or 15 years it will end up as a dreaded landfill, as it can’t be recycled.

It also has a huge carbon footprint. And it still gets really hot in a heatwave.

With a hosepipe ban looming, and hotter, drier weather becoming the future, the fact it doesn’t need constant watering is definitely a plus – and it doesn’t need mowing, which saves on electricity.

There’s also no need for controversial fertilisers or feeds.

But ultimately I’d say it’s just not worth the cost – either financially or environmentally.

CUT-PRICE FALSIES

SHOULD you decide to take inspiration from Dawne, here are some deals on artificial grass to style up your garden . . . 

9Jardin: Premium, £29.99 per one by four-metre roll, Home Bargains 9Mossbank artificial, £6.75 per square metre, GRASS247 9Thoresby artificial grass, £9.99 per square metre, B&M 9£25.99 per two square metres, The Range 9Nomow Seasons Meadow, £24.19 per two metres squared, Robert Dyas

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