Swedish man operating crypto scam from Thailand sentenced to 15 years in prison

Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson when arrested in Thailand in 2019. Photo: Bangkok Post

The Swedish national who in March pledged guilty in a US federal court to running an international scheme from Thailand that defrauded more than 3500 victims in 46 countries of $16 million has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, CNBC reports.

According to the Department of Justice, Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson sentencing is for securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. The United States is seeking restitution on behalf of the financially insecure investors, in particular deaf and hard-of-hearing people that Karlsson scammed into buying phony investment plans for less than $ 100, promising a 450-fold return through an eventual payout of 1.15 kilograms of gold per share. 

Court documents state that Karlsson maintained the ruse, in part, by offering updates and account statements to victims. Karlsson also explained delayed payouts by falsely claiming to be working with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Karlsson operated his scheme from Thailand, his country of residence, and used several aliases to mask his fraud. Karlsson allegedly spent most of his victims’ money to pay for his personal expenses, including expensive homes, a race horse, and a resort in Thailand before being extradited to the US in 2019.

Karlsson now has to pay back $16,263,820 to the victims and a restitution order is also expected to be entered by the court within 90 days. Victims who have not been in contact with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California have been encouraged to submit information as soon as possible. 

About Mette Larsen

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

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