The brain behind what the government says is one of the largest cryptocurrencies of Ponzi schemes processed in the US is convicted to 15 years in prison. While crypto fraud they got more and more often, Swedish citizen Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson deceived thousands of victims and stole tens of millions of dollars over a period that lasted almost a decade. He pleaded guilty to securities fraud and wire transactions, as well as money laundering charges on March 4th.
According to the Ministry of Justice, Karlsson ran his bogus investment scheme from 2011 until his arrest in Thailand in 2019. He targeted financially insecure individuals, such as the elderly, by persuading them to use cryptocurrency to buy stakes in a business he called “Eastern Metal” Securities. “Based on information from court documents, he promised the victims huge payments related to the price of gold, but the money they handed over was not invested at all. Instead, it was transferred to Karlsson’s personal bank accounts and used to buy expensive homes and even resorts in Thailand.
To make his scheme work for almost a decade, he would rename and show victims ’account statements in an attempt to convince them that their funds were safe. Karlsson would then give them various excuses for payment delays and even falsely claim to be working with the Securities and Exchange Commission. During the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer ordered the confiscation of his Thai resorts and bills. He was also ordered to pay the victims the amount of 16,263,820 dollars.
Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds of Northern California said:
“An investigation into Roger Karlsson’s fraud has uncovered a frighteningly callous scheme that lasted more than a decade during which Karlsson targeted thousands of victims, including financially vulnerable seniors, to insensitively seize their property, all to foster an extravagant lifestyle surrounded by luxury condoms. and the court’s decision to impose a 180-month prison sentence reflects the fact that Karlsson’s cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme is one of the largest convicted to date and ensures that Karlsson will now have enough time to consider the damage he has done to his victims. “
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