Categories: Bitcoin Business

Swede caught over bitcoin investment fraud

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Crime Suppression Division police arrest Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson (second from left), 45, a Swedish national, at a house on Koh Chang in Trat province. He was wanted by Interpol for money laundering over a virtual-currency investment scam in the US. (Photo supplied by Wassayos Ngamkham)

A Swedish man wanted by the United States and Interpol for alleged money-laundering in a virtual currency investment scam in the US has been arrested on Koh Chang in Trat province.

Crime Suppression Division police apprehended Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, 45, at a house on the island of this eastern province on Tuesday.

The Swedish man was wanted on a complaint in the US on March 4 this year for collusion in fraud. The man had allegedly colluded with 12 others to open a website to dupe no less than 3,575 victims of more than $11 million.

After investment losses, the suspect and his business partners shut down the website and fled with about 50 million baht each, said Pol Col Arun Wachirasrisukanya, superintendent of the CSD sub-division 2.

The man was also wanted on an Interpol red notice for fraud and money laundering.

US authorities recently notified the CSD the suspect had fled to live with his Thai wife on Koh Chang in Trat. They then sought cooperation from the CSD to investigate.

Acting on a search warrant issued by the Trat Provincial Court, CSD police searched a house in Koh Chang district and found the suspect there with his Thai wife. Some electronic devices were also seized from the house, said Pol Col Arun.

During the interrogation, the suspect admitted to opening the website to encourage people to invest in bitcoins. The losses forced him to close the website.

Authorities planned to send him to stand trial in the US in 1-2 days.

According to the US Department of Justice statement, if convicted, Mr Karlsson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine for the wire fraud and securities fraud charges, and 20 years in prison and a $500,000 maximum fine for the money laundering charge.

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