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American Arrested on Alleged 3 Million Baht Investment Fraud



American Arrested on Alleged 3 Million Baht Investment Fraud

On Friday, an American citizen was arrested on charges of investment fraud for luring investors into derivatives and futures contracts resulting in losses of more than 3 million baht, police reported.

Bangkok police officers from the Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) apprehended Mr. Christensen, 37, at a hotel in the Nana area of Klong Toey district.

An arrest warrant was issued by the South Bangkok Criminal Court on Nov 9 last year for his arrest.

The alleged offenses happened over eight years ago, and the statute of limitations in the investments fraud case was set to expire at the end of this month.

According to a police spokesperson, the victims, most of whom were foreign residents, lost money on derivatives and securities futures. They were sold by Seandar Inc through Mr. Christensen, who claimed to be an investment fund manager working at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Investors promised investment with low risk

Christensen allegedly told his investment victims that Seandar offered investment options in energy and precious metals as well as futures contracts through 60 offices around the globe.

Despite being promised investments with low risk with a fixed 5% return on their money, the promises were not fulfilled and their principal was not refunded.

When the investors contacted Mr. Christensen, he claimed the company’s computer had been hacked and the money from the investment options had been stolen. He then cut off all contact with the investors.

According to the Economic Crime Suppression Division, the damage amounted to more than 3 million baht.

The police spokesperson did not say when the investors of the investment fraud first filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It was believed to have occurred in early 2014 or earlier.

Operating without a license

The Securities and Exchange Commission said that it registered a criminal complaint with the police on April 9, 2014. This complaint accused Mr. Christensen, Seandar Inc, and other people of running unlicensed investment activities.

A Securities and Exchange Commission investigation revealed that Seandar Inc and [Mr. Christensen] operated derivatives business without obtaining a license or registration with the SEC,” the securities regulator said in a statement.

Police had tracked Mr. Christensen’s location and found him on Koh Samui in Surat Thani. They arrested him on his return to Bangkok.

Mr. Christensen could be fined up to 300,000 baht and/or imprisoned for up to three years if found guilty under the Derivatives Act, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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