Former Locke Lord Partner Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for $400 Million Cryptocurrency Fraud Scheme

NEW YORK – A former partner at the U.S. law firm Locke Lord has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement in a $400 million fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme, according to Manhattan federal prosecutors. Mark Scott, 55, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud in November 2019, related to his role in the OneCoin cryptocurrency fraud.

The sentencing occurred on Thursday, presided over by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos. In addition to the prison term, Judge Ramos ordered Scott to forfeit $392,940,000 and various assets, including bank accounts, a yacht, two Porsche automobiles, and four real estate properties.

Prosecutors emphasized that Scott achieved financial success through fraud and deception, earning $50 million by the age of 50. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated, “Scott accomplished his goal, but by fraud and deception, and will now spend a decade in prison and has been ordered to forfeit all of his illegal proceeds.”

Scott’s involvement in the scheme began in 2015 when he was introduced to OneCoin co-founder Ruja Ignatova, known as the “Cryptoqueen.” Prosecutors outlined that he played a crucial role in setting up fake investment funds to launder millions of dollars in fraud proceeds in 2016, receiving over $50 million for his participation. He used this money to purchase luxury cars, a yacht, and several seaside homes.

In a defense memorandum, Scott’s lawyers sought a five-year prison sentence, describing him as a “broken man” who had spent the last four years in home confinement. However, prosecutors pushed for a minimum of 17 years, highlighting Scott’s greed and discontent with his already lavish lifestyle as a partner at a prestigious law firm.

Scott, previously an international mergers and acquisitions and private equity partner at Locke Lord, was disbarred by a New York state appellate court in November 2020. His legal team has not yet responded to the recent developments.

Meanwhile, Karl Sebastian Greenwood, another co-founder of the OneCoin scheme, received a 20-year prison sentence and was ordered to forfeit $300 million in September. The elusive “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova remains at large and was added to the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list in 2022.