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U.S. Deptartment Of Justice Looks to Extradite Alleged Bitcoin Scammer

This article is more than 4 years old
News
U.S. Deptartment Of Justice Looks to Extradite Alleged Bitcoin Scammer

In a press release issued on June 19, 2019, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) unsealed a complaint against a Swedish citizen named Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson and his company, Eastern Metal Securities (EMS), for orchestrating a multi-million dollar investment scam using bitcoin.

Investors Duped of More than $11 Million

International diplomatic relations among countries are tested time and again courtesy of crimes related to cryptocurrencies.

As previously reported by BTCManager, Russia called on Greece for the extradition of a former owner of a crypto exchange due to their alleged involvement in a money laundering scheme. Now, in a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), the country has requested for the extradition of an alleged conman who stole almost $11 million through a bitcoin Ponzi scheme.

Per the release, Karlsson and his firm are charged with committing securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering via a bogus investment scheme. The complaint filed March 4, 2019, states that the Swedish national solicited potential investors to purchase his high-return yielding financial products through cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The official record states that since September 2006, Karlsson had been using a fake website to convince investors about the legitimacy of his business. The site, which was registered to a fictional person, advertised shares in a financial product called a Pre Funded Reversed Pension Plan (PFRPP).

The judicial department alleges that Karlsson, via his website, lured customers into buying shares of PFRPP for $98 per share. In return, he promised investors an eventual payout of 1.15 kilograms of gold per share, although, at the time, the precious metal was trading at over $44,000 per kilogram.

To further camouflage his ill-intentions, Karlsson promised investors that in the “unlikely event” that the gold payout did not happen, he’d return them at least 97 percent of the amount they invested.

Luck Runs Out

Upon investigation, the government found no evidence of any bank accounts held by Karlsson that could have potentially helped him pay off the promised payouts. Instead, the law forces discovered that funds provided by investors were secretly moved to Karlsson’s bank account with most of it tied up in real estate property in Thailand.

The cyber-outlaw allegedly directed his victims to make investments through bitcoin and was successful in fooling at least 3,575 people. The total amount of money amassed by Karlsson is estimated to be around $11 million.

The local police finally caught up with Karlsson in Thailand, and now the U.S. is seeking his extradition to try the alleged fraudster in the Northern District of California.

In similar news, BTCManager reported on June 19, 2019, how the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) had lodged a complaint against U.K.-based startup Control-Finance Ltd. For allegedly laundering more than 22,800 bitcoin.