Scammers and bad actors continue to torment the cryptocurrency industry as it continues to draw in fresh money in the market. One of the regulatory bodies actively working to bring these malicious players to justice is the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the regulator is now demanding the trial by jury of a Swedish national for ties to a million-dollar crypto fraud.
The SEC filed a complaint in New York’s Eastern District Court on Tuesday, seeing damages on behalf of “thousands of retail investors”, who were duped by 46-year-old Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, a resident of Sweden.
The complaint alleges that Karlsson “enticed and defrauded” his victims via Eastern Metal Securities (EMS), a company which he purportedly owned. He promises the victims “astronomical returns” on their investment in the company.
The SEC highlighted that neither Karlsson nor his company was registered with the commission, and neither had qualified for an exemption to registration.
In between November 2012 and June 2019, Karlsson ran a fraudulent scheme dubbed “Pre Funded Reversed Pension Plan.” He also operated this using multiple forged identities to trick his victims and duping them of millions of dollars. Some of his victims even belong to the deaf community.
His scheme assured a massive payout that was linked to the value of gold and required the victims to make an initial investment of $98. But the complaint alleges that this scheme did not exist and no such payouts were ever made.
Karlsson managed to dupe at least 2,200 victims across 49 states in the U.S., the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and 45 other countries, bagging $3.5 million via payments in bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies.
He purchased a real estate worth $1.5 million in Thailand, the country where he was living before he was extradited to the United States to face charges.
SEC to refund Victims
As of now, the SEC has requested the court to restrain Karlsson along with his other accomplices, details of whom are yet to be announced.
Furthermore, the SEC also seeks to return Karlsson’s “ill-gotten gains” to the victims along with interest and additional penalties.
As previously reported by The Daily Chain, the SEC recently suspended the trading of stocks for Vortex Blockchain Technologies Inc, for lack of clarity regarding the nature of its operations and the value of its assets.
Prior to that the SEC fined Rapper T.I. $75000, for his involvement in the promotion of a fraudulent ICO launched back in August 2017.