The US Department of Justice has announced that Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, a Swedish resident, pleaded guilty to luring over 3,500 people into a ponzi scheme where he generated over $16 million.
Per the DoJ announcement, the Swedish resident successfully tricked his unsuspecting victims between 2012 and 2019 to send him Bitcoin that were used to cater to his personal needs.
Karlsson and his company, Eastern Metal Securities (EMS), devised a dubious “Pre Funded Reversed Pension Plan” which he used for his nefarious acts. He promised a return of gold, worth around $45,000 as payout, for Bitcoin and other digital assets that were invested in his firm.
To give his victims a false sense of assurance, he falsified financial statements that were issued to these victims which gave a pretense that their funds were safe. Eventually, he was arrested in Thailand in 2019 before he was extradited to the US. Findings revealed that he had used the funds to purchase a resort in Thailand, luxurious condos, and even a racehorse.
According to the investigation:
The investigation into Roger Karlsson’s fraud uncovered a frighteningly callous scheme that lasted more than a decade during which Karlsson targeted thousands of victims, including financially vulnerable seniors, to callously rob them of their assets and all to fuel an extravagant lifestyle surrounded by luxury condominiums and lavish international vacations.
The court has demanded that he forfeit his Thai resort plus other assets he had gotten through his ill wealth. He also got a 15 years imprisonment sentence which could have been longer if he had not pleaded guilty to the charges against him.