SAN FRANCISCO—According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of California, Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, 47, pled guilty to the charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering on Friday, March 5, 2021.
Karlsson, a Swedish national who lived in Thailand, defrauded 3,575 investors more than $16 million through two companies he created, the complaint revealed.
On November 27, 2012, authorities said Karlsson created “Eastern Metal Securities (EMS)” and a second website “hci25.com” to lure investors into purchasing shares of gold for less than $100 per share, with the gold being worth at least $45,000 in January 2019.
According to the complaint, EMS was an alleged “group of highly educated and Award-Winning Economizers and Think Tankers from South Africa and Switzerland who have created an unprecedented reputation within many areas of the global economy and have represented Nobel Prize winner within the Economic field the last 7 years.”
Authorities said that the investment platform, “Pre-Funded Reversed Pension Plan,” was run by an unidentified prominent government official in the Federal Reserve called “Mr. X.”
The complaint revealed the EMS website told investors the risk of loss was “totally eliminated,” because the money would be funded through a “BG Bank Guaranteed Note.” If there was a financial loss, authorities said that Karlsson guaranteed his investors 97 percent of their money back.
“Karlsson admitted he had no way to pay off the investors. Instead, the funds provided by victims were transferred to Karlsson’s personal bank accounts and he then used proceeds to purchase expensive homes and a resort in Thailand,” according to the complaint.
It was revealed that Karlsson defrauded investors in 49 states, including California, and at least in 45 countries, including a group called “Deaf Group” who sent $2,030,630 of their retirement funds.
“In the 18-month period beginning from December 2017 through June 2019 alone, investors transmitted more than $3.5 million to EMS, though digital assets such as Bitcoin, or transferred to other digital asset payment processors such as Perfect Money and C-Gold,” the complaint states.
Federal prosecutors said that Karlsson faces a maximum prison sentence of at least 40 years and fines totaling $750,000 for money laundering and wire fraud.