US regulator demands jury trial for alleged digital currency fraud

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has demanded a jury trial for an individual in connection with his alleged involvement in a multimillion dollar cryptocurrency fraud, according to reports.

As per a complaint filed with the Eastern District Court in New York this week, the regulator said it was pursuing damages from Swedish national Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson on behalf of “thousands of retail investors.”

The SEC claims Karlsson “enticed and defrauded” victims to invest in his company Eastern Metal Securities, on the promise of huge returns on investment. In reality, neither Karlsson nor the company were registered with the SEC, and were not legitimately exempt from the requirement to register.

Karlsson is also accused of creating and using several fake identities to defraud unsuspecting investors in his schemes, thought to have run to over $3.5 million in BTC, according to the U.S. regulator. Karlsson also owns $1.5 million of real estate in Thailand, which was bought from the proceeds of the alleged fraud in BTC.

According to the complaint, the SEC has the victim count at 2,200 investors across 49 states and 45 other countries worldwide, reflecting the sheer scale of the fraud allegedly perpetrated by Karlsson and his company.

In the complaint, the SEC said that the authorities should now detain Karlsson and others involved in the fraud, pending a trial by jury to hear the evidence. Further, they ask the court to order the surrender of Karlsson’s “ill-gotten gains,” plus additional penalties and pre-judgement interest.

The case is only the latest example of large scale fraud revolving around BTC. It serves as a further warning to investors to be wary of any propositions that seem too good to be true, especially where BTC is involved.

The court will now consider the submission from the SEC ahead of further action.

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