A Swedish fraudster was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a $16 million cryptocurrency scam.

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According to reports, Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson utilised Coinbase to accept cash from potential investors.

A Swedish man has been jailed for 15 years for conning people out of $16 million in a crypto scam, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, 47, pleaded guilty earlier this year to securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering charges. Karlsson bought fancy homes, a racehorse and resort in Thailand after would-be investors plugged cash into his scheme, “Eastern Metal Securities.”

The scam lured people to buy shares in a fraudulent online investment program using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the DoJ said. Karlsson promised “astronomical returns” and asked for funds to be sent via the U.S.’s biggest crypto exchange, Coinbase, according to reports, which was really a way of laundering the cash.

Karlsson was busted in 2019 after 3,500 people fell for the con. He admitted to the charges on March 4 of this year and was extradited to the U.S. from Thailand.

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“We were delighted to contribute our expertise in tracing virtual currency to this investigation, dispelling the myth of anonymity associated with these transactions,” Kelly R. Jackson, IRS-CI special agent in charge, stated at the time.

Karlsson’s scam preyed on “financially insecure investors,” causing “severe financial hardship for many of them,” according to the DoJ.

As part of his punishment, he was sentenced yesterday to lose a Thai resort as well as numerous other assets and accounts. The courts are likely to issue a reparation order within 90 days, according to the DoJ.


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