Swedish man arrested in Thailand over bitcoin fraud

On June 18, Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, a Swedish man aged 44 was arrested by Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau police for multi-million dollar fraud on the Island of Koh Chang, Thailand.

Being in Interpol Red Warrant Issued by US Authorities, Karlsson was accused of colluding with 12 others to defraud thousands of victims via cryptocurrency websites such as bitcoin.

According to a criminal complaint filed on March 4, 2019 and unsealed on June 19, Karlsson and his company, Eastern Metal Securities (EMS), were charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in a scheme to defraud potential investors of more than $11 million.

Back in September 2006, Karlsson allegedly used websites to invite potential investors to purchase gold investment products that would give the investors a 450-fold return.

In order to seduce the investors to take risks, Karlsson pledged to return to them 97 percent of the amount they invested if things didn’t go as planned.

Hoping bitcoin would make it impossible to track him down, Karlsson told his clients to invest their money via cryptocurrency websites such as bitcoin.

According to the complaint, “the government found no evidence of any accounts held by Karlsson that would allow him to pay off the investors. Instead, the complaint alleges, the funds provided by victims were transferred to Karlsson’s personal bank accounts and now appear to be tied up in real estate in Thailand.”

Karlsson allegedly managed to get no less than 3,575 victims of more than $11 million to make investments though Bitcoin.
Karlsson then shut down the website and flee to Koh Chang Island in Thailand where he has lived with his Thai wife for eight years.

Now, the U.S. authorities are trying to send Karlsson back in the Northern District of California to face trial.

About Nilobon Bantoey

Journalist • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok Thailand

View all posts by Nilobon Bantoey

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