Cryptocurrency OneCoin Boss Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Money Laundering
OneCoin’s co-founder Karl Greenwood pleaded guilty to US fraud and money laundering charges for selling a bogus cryptocurrency alongside one of the US’ most wanted fugitives, a woman known as the ‘Cryptoqueen.’
Karl Greenwood, 45, was arrested in Thailand and extradited to the United States in 2018 for his role in selling the alleged cryptocurrency OneCoin, which federal prosecutors in Manhattan describe as a pyramid scheme that defrauded investors out of $4 billion. Since his arrest, he has been detained.
The plea comes as prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) intensify their pursuit of financial crimes involving digital assets. Prosecutors unveiled an indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the FTX crypto exchange, on charges of stealing billions of dollars in customer deposits on Tuesday.
“This guilty plea by the co-founder of OneCoin caps a week at SDNY that sends a clear message that we are coming after all those who seek to exploit the cryptocurrency ecosystem through fraud,” said Damian Williams, Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor.
Prosecutors claim Greenwood co-founded OneCoin in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2014 with Ruja Ignatova, a German citizen known as the ‘Cryptoqueen.’ She was added to the FBI’s top ten most-wanted list in June, and prosecutors said on Friday that she is still at large.
Greenwood’s attorney declined to comment. He is scheduled to be sentenced for the three counts to which he pleaded guilty on April 5.
Bankman-Fried acknowledged risk management failures at FTX but claimed he is not criminally liable. He is currently detained in The Bahamas, where FTX is based and is fighting an extradition request from the United States.
Cryptocurrency Fraud Sam Bankman-Fried denied bail.
A judge in the Bahamas has denied bail to Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
On Tuesday, Mr. Bankman-Fried was charged with “one of the biggest financial frauds in US history” by US authorities.
The former FX chief built a “house of cards on a foundation of deception,” according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler.
Mr. Bankman-Fried has stated that he will fight extradition to the United States.
Bahamas Chief Magistrate JoyAnn Ferguson-Pratt denied his bail petition, citing a “great” risk of flight, and ordered that he be held in a correctional facility until February 8.
FTX declared bankruptcy in the United States last month, rendering many users unable to withdraw their funds. According to a court filing, FTX owed nearly $3.1 billion (£2.5 billion) to its 50 largest creditors.
Among the most serious allegations against Mr. Bankman-Fried is that he used billions of dollars in customer funds to prop up Alameda, his investment trading firm.
It is unclear how much money people who have funds in the exchange will receive after the bankruptcy proceedings, though many experts have warned that it may be a small fraction of what they deposited.
In the United States, Mr. Bankman-Fried is facing eight criminal charges, including wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud. He also faces civil charges for defrauding investors who put more than $1 billion into the company.
Officials have also charged him with breaking campaign finance laws.
Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, described Mr. Bankman-alleged Fried’s fraud as “among the largest in US history” during a press conference on Tuesday.
Mr. Bankman-Fried was accused of defrauding lenders, investors, and customers and using “tens of millions” in ill-gotten gains to make illegal campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans.
“All of this dirty money was used to serve Bankman-desire Fried’s to buy bipartisan influence and influence public policy in Washington,” Mr. Williams said.
Previously, the crypto tycoon admitted to making mistakes but denied intent to defraud his customers.
Mr. Bankman-Fried also denied claims that he knew FTX’s affiliated trading company, Alameda Research, was using FTX customer funds.
He was once considered a younger version of the legendary US investor Warren Buffett. As recently as late October, he had a net worth of more than $15 billion (£12.1 billion).
Caption for media,
Sam Bankman-Fried denies knowing FTX customer funds were used for risky financial bets.
Meanwhile, the firm’s new CEO, John Ray, told a US congressional committee that FTX’s demise appeared to result from a small group of “grossly inexperienced, non-sophisticated individuals” controlling the company.
He saw “an utter lack of record-keeping – no internal controls whatsoever,” he said.
Customers could use the FTX exchange to exchange traditional currency for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrencies are not traditional currencies; they are stored online and function more like investment vehicles or securities, with high volatility.
Because of their anonymity, they have been favored for criminal activities such as drug dealing and ransomware attacks, but supporters argue that they have enormous innovation potential – and independence from governments.
CNN Ousts CEO Chris Licht After A Brief, Tumultuous Tenure
THE NEW YORK CNN fired Chief Executive Chris Licht, After a turbulent year in charge of the faltering news organization, culminating in a stinging magazine feature and the growing realization that he’d lost the trust of the network’s journalists, CNN fired Chief Executive Chris Licht.
Just two days after Licht declared he would “fight like hell” to earn the respect of those around him, the change was revealed at CNN’s editorial meeting on Wednesday morning.
In addition to appointing a four-person interim leadership team, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced during the editorial meeting that he would conduct a comprehensive search for Licht’s replacement.
Republicans had grown increasingly wary of the network due to frequent attacks by the late President Donald Trump. Thus, Licht was mandated to try and make CNN more appealing to both sides of the country’s political spectrum.
However, several network employees viewed Licht’s call for change as a rejection of their prior efforts, and a live town hall interview with Trump last month generated strong opposition.
Don Lemon was fired from the network’s morning show earlier this year after Licht tried to modernize it, but it was unsuccessful. Creating a new prime-time lineup was protracted, as Kaitlan Collins was only recently chosen to host the 9 p.m. hour, which has been without a permanent host since Chris Cuomo was let go in December 2021.
CNN fired Chief Executive Chris Licht.
Just over a year ago, Zaslav appointed Licht to succeed Jeff Zucker, a well-liked predecessor who had created shows like MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” CBS’ morning news program, and Stephen Colbert’s late-night show. Zucker was let go for failing to disclose a mutually beneficial relationship with another CNN executive.
The position “was never going to be easy, especially at a time of great disruption and transformation,” Zaslav wrote in a memo to CNN employees.
He remarked, “Chris put his heart and soul into it. It has been clear throughout his tenure that he has a great affection for journalism and this industry. Unfortunately, things did not turn out as we had intended, and in the end, I was responsible.
An inquiry for comment from Licht has yet to receive a response.
“Inside the Meltdown at CNN,” a lengthy profile of Licht that appeared in Atlantic magazine on Friday, proved embarrassing and probably sealed his demise. Before he arrived, Licht criticized some of CNN’s COVID coverage, which infuriated some journalists.
According to a Wall Street Journal piece published Tuesday night, Jake Tapper, Anderson Cooper, and Erin Burnett, three of CNN’s top anchors, reportedly privately voiced their disapproval of Licht’s management.
In the meantime, viewers were leaving. With 494,000 viewers in May, CNN’s prime-time audience was down 16% from April and fell short of MSNBC, its nearest competitor in the news market.
Amy Entelis, Virginia Moseley, Eric Sherling, and David Leavy, four current CNN executives, were chosen by Zaslav to lead the network while a replacement is sought.
In the message, Zaslav stated, “We are in good hands, allowing us to take the time we need to run a thoughtful and thorough search for a new leader.”
SOURCE – (AP)
Some ‘Diablo IV’ Players Report Invalid License Error Message After Early Access Launch
Washington, D.C. The highly anticipated action role-playing video game “Diablo IV” launched its early access on Thursday night. However, there were some delays, particularly for PlayStation players.
While many players who pre-purchased eligible “Diablo IV” editions experienced no problems with the early access launch, some PS5 users reported getting an invalid licensing error message. After initially stating that a server-side balance update had been implemented, Blizzard acknowledged the problem.
A software upgrade known as a hotfix focuses on a single problem and normally does not cause service interruptions.
The most recent game in the Blizzard “Diablo” series, which debuted in 1996, is titled “Diablo IV” and was released in May 2012. This is more than ten years after “Diablo III”‘s debut. Although the game’s early access began on Thursday, the launch is set for the following week.
Diablo’s general manager, Rod Fergusson, referred to “Diablo IV” as “our most brutal vision of Sanctuary,” the make-believe setting for the game. He continued, saying that it incorporates “the darkness of the original game” and expands on significant elements from other games in the franchise.
Activision Blizzard, the parent business of Blizzard Entertainment, announced in April that its net sales for the first quarter of 2023 increased to $2.38 billion from $1.77 billion. Activision reported that “Diablo IV” presales were robust, indicating that the game had undergone successful public testing.
What you need to know about “Diablo IV’s” upcoming official release and early access launch on Thursday is provided here.
WHEN DOES DIABLO IV COMMENCE?
Depending on your local time zone, “Diablo IV” will be formally published on Tuesday or Wednesday next week. The game will begin in the United States on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT).
Although “Diablo IV” is set to be on sale next week, early access started a few days earlier, on either Thursday or Friday, depending on where you are. Players who pre-purchased the game’s digital deluxe or ultimate edition were expected to have early access.
Additionally, some devices allow players who have previously purchased “Diablo IV” to pre-load the game. According to Blizzard, pre-loading is possible for Windows PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.
DIABLO IV “UNABLE TO FIND LICENCE”?
Although early access appeared to open without incident for the majority of gamers, some PS5 users reported receiving an error message that stated, “unable to find a valid licence for Diablo IV,” according to posts on Blizzard’s community forums and social media. Players on the PS5 appeared to be the ones most affected by the problem, but some other users said they also received the notice on Xbox and other platforms.
In a forum post late Thursday night, Blizzard recognized the PlayStation customers’ complaints. Adam Fletcher, director of global community development, later claimed that “Diablo IV” had received a server-side balance update implemented across all platforms.
How many early access players were affected by the problem is unknown. On Blizzard’s forum, some angry customers reported that they were still having access issues as of Friday morning.
The Associated Press requested statements from Blizzard and PlayStation on Friday morning.
WHAT CLASSES DO DIABLO IV CHARACTERS FALL INTO?
“Diablo IV” reportedly takes place decades after the events of “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.” The angel Inarius and the demon Lilith have started a battle and are at odds.
In “Diablo IV,” players can choose from one of five classes: Druids, Rogues, Sorceresses, Barbarians, or Necromancers.
At launch, “Diablo IV” will support couch co-op and cross-platform play on Windows PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4, among other platforms.
Financial results for Activation for 2022, Microsoft Deal
In 2022, Activision, the company behind “Call of Duty,” “Candy Crush,” and “World of Warcraft,” recorded net revenues of $7.53 billion, a decrease from the $8.8 billion reported in 2021.
Microsoft revealed plans to buy Activision in January 2022, but the historic transaction is doubtful more than a year later. Last month, the European Union authorized the $69 billion purchase, but British regulators halted it due to concerns about competition. Authorities in the US are also attempting to block the merger.
Regulators worldwide have scrutinized the agreement because of concern that it will give Microsoft and its Xbox platform control of popular s. PlayStation maker rival Sony has led a ferocious opposition.
Activision and Microsoft have appealed to a tribunal about the U.K. ruling. Liam Deane, a gaming industry analyst at digital research and consultancy firm Omdia, previously told The Associated Press that if the appeal is unsuccessful, Microsoft would be compelled to either cancel the arrangement or carve out the U.K. as a distinct market, which appeared to be an impractical choice.
SOURCE – (AP)
Passenger Train Derails In India, Killing At Least 50, Trapping Many Others
NEW DELHI — At least 50 people were killed, and hundreds more were trapped inside more than a dozen damaged rail cars when two passenger trains in India crashed on Friday, according to officials.
According to officials, the disaster occurred in eastern India, around 220 kilometers (137 miles) southwest of Kolkata, and about 400 people were sent to hospitals. The cause was being looked into.
Amitabh Sharma, a spokesman for the railway ministry, reported that ten to twelve coaches of one train derailed, and pieces of some of the damaged coaches fell onto an adjacent track.
According to Sharma, a passenger train traveling the other way struck the debris, and up to three coaches of the second train also derailed.
According to the Press Trust of India news agency, a third goods train was reportedly apparently involved, but there was no immediate confirmation from railway authorities.
Television photos from the aftermath showed rescuers scaling the rubble to pry open doors and windows and use cutting torches to free trapped survivors.
A passenger train traveling the other way struck the debris, and up to three coaches of the second train also derailed.
Vandana Kaleda, a passenger, said to the New Delhi Television news station that she “found people falling on each other” as her carriage shook erratically and deviated from the lines. She claimed that her survival was fortuitous.
Another survivor, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that the impact woke him up while he was asleep. He claimed to have observed other people with damaged faces and shattered limbs.
At least 50 persons were reported dead, according to Balasore district’s senior administrator Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde. At least 70 people had died, according to The Press Trust.
According to Pradeep Jena, the state’s chief executive officer of Odisha, there were close to 500 police officers and rescue personnel at the scene, along with 75 ambulances and buses.
Rescuers were working to release 200 individuals who were thought to be trapped in the rubble, according to Shinde.
The Coromandel Express, which derailed, was traveling from Howrah in West Bengal state to Chennai, the state capital of southern Tamil Nadu, according to The Press Trust.
Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, expressed sympathy for the deceased families.
Having spoken with the railway minister, Modi tweeted, “May the injured recover soon,” adding that “all possible assistance” was being provided.
Several hundred incidents happen annually on India’s railways, the world’s largest train network with single management, despite government efforts to increase rail safety.
The deadliest train catastrophe in Indian history occurred in August 1995 when two trains crashed close to New Delhi, killing 358 people.
Human mistakes or out-of-date signaling equipment are the main causes of trains accidents.
Every day, 14,000 trains carrying more than 12 million passengers traverse India’s 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) of railway.
SOURCE – (AP)
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