The DOJ charged a Swedish citizen and his company with committing securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
According to the DOJ, Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson operated a securities business through several website platforms. The DOJ alleged that the websites were used to make false representations about the businesses' primary investment product: "Pre Funded Reversed Pension Plans." Specifically, the DOJ alleged that:
Karlsson's websites offered shares priced at approximately $98 while claiming that the eventual value of each share would be in excess of $45,000, and that 97 percent of the amount invested would be guaranteed;
Karlsson made false statements to delay investors' realization that there would be no payout;
Karlsson accepted investments in the form of virtual currency, including Bitcoin; and
Karlsson laundered the proceeds of his wire fraud and securities fraud and must forfeit real estate purchased in Thailand.
The DOJ alleged that, in total, Karlsson defrauded at least 3,575 victims of approximately $11 million.
The DOJ extradited Karlsson from Thailand to stand trial in the United States.
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