Criminal Justice

Former BigLaw partner is convicted of money laundering in cryptocurrency scheme

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A former Locke Lord partner accused of leaving BigLaw to launder money in a cryptocurrency scam was convicted Thursday.

Lawyer Mark S. Scott, 51, of Coral Gables, Florida, was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, according to a press release from the Manhattan U.S. attorney.

Law360, the New York Law Journal, BBC News and the Cape Cod Times have coverage; Bloomberg Law covered opening statements.

Scott showed little emotion as the verdict was read but comforted a weeping family member, according to Law360.

Scott was accused of setting up fake investment funds to launder $400 million in an international pyramid scheme based on the worthless cryptocurrency OneCoin. Prosecutors said Scott earned more than $50 million in the scheme, which he used to buy luxury watches, a Ferrari, several Porsches, a yacht, and three multimillion-dollar seaside homes in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

According to federal prosecutors, OneCoin operates as a marketing network in which members receive commissions for recruiting others to buy cryptocurrency packages. The value of OneCoin is determined internally and is not based on market supply and demand, prosecutors say. They are not “mined” using computer resources, according to prosecutors.

OneCoin continues to operate and denies wrongdoing.

Scott’s lawyer, Arlo Devlin-Brown, had argued that he didn’t know that OneCoin was based on a worthless electronic currency, and his client was duped by OneCoin co-founder Ruja Ignatova, who disappeared in 2017. Ignatova’s brother was a prosecution witness.

Devlin-Brown said Scott would appeal to clear his name.

Locke Lord has said it was unaware of Scott’s misconduct, which happened after he left the firm.

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