Department of Justice, 09 July 2021
SAN FRANCISCO – Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, citizen of Sweden, was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering charges that defrauded thousands of victims. The court also ordered the defendant to forfeit several properties in Thailand, including a resort, and a forfeiture money judgment of more than $16 million. The sentence was handed down by the Hon. Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge.
Karlsson, 47, pleaded guilty to the charges on March 4, 2021, without a written plea agreement. According to court documents, Karlsson ran an investment fraud scheme from 2011 until his arrest in Thailand in June 2019. Karlsson induced victims to use cryptocurrency such a Bitcoin and other online payment platforms to purchase shares in a scheme he called “Eastern Metal Securities.” Karlsson promised victims astronomical returns tied to the price of gold. Instead, the funds provided by victims were transferred to Karlsson’s personal bank accounts, and he then used proceeds to purchase personal items including expensive homes, a racehorse, and a resort in Thailand. Karlsson’s fraud targeted financially insecure investors, causing severe financial hardship for many of them. Meanwhile, Karlsson went to great lengths to prolong his scheme, including rebranding, offering updates and account statements that provided assurances to the victims that their assets were secure, and offering explanations for the payout delays – including falsely claiming to be working with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, the government’s filings in the case describe Karlsson’s attempt to launder the proceeds of his fraud by using multiple aliases and shell companies, layering transactions through cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges, and using offshore accounts and properties. The government argued in its sentencing memorandum that Karlsson’s cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme is one of the largest such schemes the government knows to have been sentenced. Continue reading “Article: Cryptocurrency Fraudster Sentenced To 15 Years For Money Laundering And Securities Fraud In Multi-Million Dollar Investment Scheme”