The Criminal Division of the IRS arrested Swedish businessman Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, for allegedly operating a fraudulent pension plan using cryptocurrency. Karlsson allegedly used fake websites “registered to a fictitious person” to advertise shares of a “Pre-Funded Reversed Pension Plan” (PFRPP). The criminal complaint states that Karlsson allegedly invited potential investors to buy shares of this plan at $98 per share. In exchange, Karlsson promised to eventually return 1.15 kilograms of gold per share to the shareholder as return on investment. In early 2019, 1.15 kilograms of gold was worth $45,000, making investors in the plan a 460 percent return for each share owned. The plan’s investors made payments using virtual currencies, also known as cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin prominent cryptocurrencies and were allegedly used to pay Karlsson. With the assistance of his company, Eastern Metal Securities, Karlsson allegedly defrauded victims into losing more than $11 million.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does not regulate cryptocurrencies, which are considered risky. The lack of regulation makes it sometimes impossible to get cryptocurrency refunded from fraudulent transactions because banks or government organizations do not guarantee these currencies. In cases where a company or individual commits securities or commodities fraud against the government, private citizens often play an essential role by acting as whistleblowers.
If you are aware of a company that is engaging in securities and commodities fraud, do not hesitate to take action. Many successful whistleblowers receive a sizable portion of the proceedings from the case. The law firm of Tycko & Zavareei LLP may be able to assist you in bringing a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act, acting as a whistleblower on behalf of the U.S. government. Successful qui tam whistleblowers can receive, as their reward, between 15% and 30% of the amount recovered for the government. We have the resources to provide you with guidance on whistleblowing cases relating to fraud. We have won our clients millions of dollars in compensation as a result of their efforts working with our lawyers and the government. If you would like to consult with one of our False Claims Act attorneys please fill out our Confidential Case Evaluation Form or call (202) 973-0900 to speak with a lawyer.