Article: Cryptocurrency Fraudster Sentenced To 15 Years For Money Laundering And Securities Fraud In Multi-Million Dollar Investment Scheme

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Cryptocurrency Fraudster Sentenced To 15 Years For Money Laundering And Securities Fraud In Multi-Million Dollar Investment Scheme

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”

Article: Police Across Europe Crush Ponzi Schemes, Recover Lost Money

Article - Media, Publications

Police Across Europe Crush Ponzi Schemes, Recover Lost Money

ZDRAVKO LJUBAS, 18 May 2021

Authorities in Europe have dismantled several investment fraud schemes across the continent and recovered some of the money victims lost. Confiscation of proceeds from crimes is a strategic priority of the European Union, Europol said.

With the help of U.K. law enforcement and Europol, Spanish police recovered some of the over 15 million euro (US$18,2 million) hundreds of victims had lost in a ponzi scheme after a Spanish national living in the U.K. tricked them into making seemingly safe investments with high returns.

Police recovered about six million euro ($7,28 million) or some 40 percent of the money people invested, according to Europol. Continue reading “Article: Police Across Europe Crush Ponzi Schemes, Recover Lost Money”

Article: European police bust major online investment fraud ring

Article - Media, Publications

European police bust major online investment fraud ring

Amer Owaida, 13 May 2021

Europol and several national law enforcement agencies have teamed up to take down an investment fraud and money laundering ring that caused losses of approximately €30 million (US$36 million) to hundreds of victims, according to a press release by the European Union’s law enforcement agency.

The investigation led to the arrest of 11 suspects and involved the search of dozens of locations across Europe and Israel with law enforcement officers seizing a range of ill-gotten gains including jewels, real estate, high-end vehicles and some €2 million (US$2.4 million) in cash. The effort was spearheaded by German law enforcement authorities and supported by their peers from Bulgaria, Israel, Latvia, North-Macedonia, Poland, Spain, and Sweden. Continue reading “Article: European police bust major online investment fraud ring”