A NIGHTMARE has become a ‘surreal’ dream for a woman who lost a fortune to a international scam only for her story to be brought to life in Hollywood.
Jen McAdam, who lives and grew up in North Ayrshire, lost thousands to the cryptocurrency OneCoin Ponzi scheme which conned an estimated £4 billion from people all over the world.
Jen also persuaded friends and family to invest £220,000 before realising the whole thing was a scam.
To protect her family from threats made by cult-like OneCoin fanatics and shadowy Russian mobsters, the 50-year-old has kept her true location out of the media with it being reported she is from Glasgow.
But her book, which she hopes will be finished in 2021, will tell of her upbringing in an Ayrshire town as the daughter of a miner.
She said: “I didn’t realise until it happened to me, how important justice is when the authorities are turning their back on you.
“That’s why I decided to write the book, as a way of self healing and to raise awareness, to bring victims justice.”
Jen’s book, ‘Fake!’, forms the basis for a movie being produced in Hollywood with Kate Winslet signed on to play the Ayrshire 50-year-old.
Jen told the Times: “It’s so surreal. I feel so honoured, I am absolutely thrilled.
“I think Kate will do an immense job with the reality and the story.”
Jen, who will also serve as executive producer on the project, was able to meet with Oscar-winning star.
She said: “She’s as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.”
Jen only started writing the book this year, with the help of author Douglas Thompson who she described as ‘incredible’.
She said the events of the year have been a lot to take in, but hopes the memoir and movie will bring the OneCoin scam the scrutiny it deserves.
The book covers Jen’s life growing up in a small town in North Ayrshire, where her dad Bill worked as a miner.
She said: “He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke.
“He was 92 when he died. He was just a working class man but he left a little bit of money.”
In 2015, Jen’s father passed leaving her £9,000.
She herself had fallen ill in 2010, her condition leaving her bedbound for two years, and housebound for five.
She had lost her job and any savings she had, when her dad died she said things ‘couldn’t have been any worse’.
A year later, Jen found OneCoin, a company promising it had a cryptocurrency that was destined to be the next Bitcoin.
“I thought all my prayers had been answered, because I’d lost everything through illness and my dad dying,” Jen said.
“I thought it was going to be a blessing from above and it would help my family if anything happened to me.”
She invested all the money, and so convinced by the promises of fortune she encouraged family and friends to put hundreds of thousands in savings.
But instead of doubling their money, they lost every penny.
The scheme, previously fronted by Ruja Ignatova the infamous ‘CryptoQueen’ who disappeared in 2017, is now the subject of lawsuits.
Both Ignatova and her brother Konstantin Ignatov are the defendants in legal action that claims they laundered money and committed fraud.
After noticing a number of ‘red flags’ Jen called OneCoin which denied it was a scam, but London City Police Fraud department confirmed Jen’s worst fears – they said not to invest and to warn others.
“It was the most shocking, sickening thing… it was devastation,” Jen recalled.
Jen started a support group on Facebook for victims, starting with 13 members who were her friends.
But soon people were joining from all over the world and since then Jen has been fighting to get justice for all those who lost their precious savings to the scam.
MGM studios have acquired the rights bring Jen’s story to screen with Scott Burns set to direct and her memoir, represented by RML, is currently being shopped to publishers.
Jen said: “It means millions more will learn of the misery, hardship and deaths which have been caused by the OneCoin scam.
“Brushed off by authorities, I took on its founder and leader Ruja Ignatova.
She’s on the run, some of her leaders are on trial, but my fight won’t be over until her millions of victims around the world see justice done.”