Crypto Scammer Arrested in Thailand Gets 15-Year Jail Term

On Thursday, the US Department of Justice said that a Swedish crypto scammer arrested in Thailand in 2019 was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, 47, defrauded over 3,500 people of more than $16 million and was charged with securities fraud, money laundering, and wire fraud.

According to court documents, the man led an investment fraud scheme since 2011 and encouraged victims to buy shares promising “astronomical returns.”

People had to acquire shares in a scheme called “Eastern Metal Securities,” using cryptocurrencies to make profits tied to the gold’s price.

However, the funds paid were diverted to Mr. Karlsson’s personal bank accounts.

The man used the ill-gotten money to buy expensive homes, a racehorse, and a resort in Thailand.

Mr. Karlsson pleaded guilty in March this year after being arrested in the kingdom. The court has ordered some of his properties to be forfeited as part of the sentence.

Court documents also said that Mr. Karlsson provided updates and account statements to victims to maintain his scam scheme.

The victims, mostly financially insecure investors, said he falsely claimed that he worked with the Securities and Exchange Commission to explain the delayed payments.

US authorities seek restitution on behalf of those affected and have asked all who have not been in contact with the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California to submit information as soon as possible.

Additionally, Mr. Karlsson must return $16,263,820, and the court is expected to enter a restitution order within 90 days.

Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson was arrested on Koh Chang in Trat province in June 2019 after being wanted by the United States and Interpol for a complaint made on March 4.

The Swedish man reportedly colluded with 12 other people to open a website to mislead around 3,575 people.

Later, the suspect and his business associates shut down the website and fled with 50 million baht each.

US authorities sought support from the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), reporting that the man had fled to Koh Chang with his Thai wife.

Complying with a search warrant issued by the Trat Provincial Court, CSD agents searched a house in the district and found the suspect.

Mr. Karlsson admitted to opening the website to encourage his victims to invest in bitcoins and was sent to stand trial in the United States.