A Swedish man, who pleaded guilty of defrauding thousands of victims of more than $16 million, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by a United States court. He was convicted under the charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson was taken into custody on Koh Chang, an island off the coast of Thailand, in mid-2019 under an Interpol warrant and then handed over to the United States authorities.
According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Karlsson and his company, Eastern Metal Securities (EMS), defrauded more than 3,500 victims across 46 countries.
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He induced the victims to purchase shares of the fraudulent scheme with promises of astronomical returns. He falsely claimed that he was selling gold investment products that would, by this author’s estimate, provide a 450-fold return. If this did not happen, Karlsson said, he would return a minimum of 97 percent of funds invested.
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He collected most of the victims’ funds in Bitcoins, but instead of investing, transferred them to his personal bank accounts. He used the deposits in purchasing expensive homes, a racehorse and a resort in Thailand.
Created in late 2012 and dissolved after 7 years, Karlsson’s scheme defrauded hundreds of deaf and hard-of-hearing people who invested their retirement funds in his million-dollar crypto scam. To continue defrauding the investors, he even rebranded his scheme, offered updates and false account statements, convincing investors about the safety of their assets.
Now the court ordered him to forfeit the Thai resort and several other properties, along with a monetary judgment of $16.2 million.
“The United States is seeking restitution on behalf of Karlsson’s victims. A restitution order is expected to be entered by the court within 90 days,” the Department of Justice notice stated.