A crypto fraudsman, who was charged two years ago by U.S. authorities, has now pled guilty to an array of charges in connection with a US$16-million fraud.
A Swedish citizen, Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, 47, pled guilty to charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. He admitted that he defrauded thousands of investors through his company, Eastern Metal Securities (EMS), said the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ).
According to the indictment against him, Karlsson operated a long-running scheme from 2012 to 2019, using EMS’ website to convince victims to send cryptocurrency payments to buy into his fraudulent investment scheme.
“Karlsson admitted he had no way to pay off the investors,” the DoJ said in a release. “Instead, the funds provided by victims were transferred to Karlsson’s personal bank accounts and he then used proceeds to purchase expensive homes and a resort in Thailand,” it added.
The DoJ alleged that Karlsson used a second website (www.hci25.com) to provide false information to victims of the scheme, “to delay the moment investors would realize there would be no payout.”
“For example, on one occasion, Karlsson explained that a payout had not occurred because releasing so much money all at once could cause a negative effect on financial systems throughout the world. Karlsson also falsely represented that EMS was working with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to prepare the way for a payout,” the DoJ reported.
Eventually, in 2019, Karlsson — who used numerous aliases that included Steve Heyden, Euclid Deodoris, Joshua Millard, Lars Georgsson, Paramon Larasoft, and Kenth Westerberg — was arrested in Thailand and extradited to the U.S.
He was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2019.