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Icelander accused of engineering fraudulent Kickstarter campaigns indicted for fraud and embezzlement

By Staff

  • Classical financial fraud or innovative investments? Einar Ágústsson (left), one of two brothers accused of raising 350,000 USD in fraudulent Kickstarter campaigns for a portable wind turbine is now accused of having defrauded investors to the tune of 580,000 USD by raising money for an imaginary US investment fund. Photo/Janulus

One of two Icelandic brothers who are accused of having raised 350,000 USD in fraudulent Kickstarter campaigns has been indicted of massive fraud and embezzlement, the local news site reports. The man, Einar Ágústsson, is accused of having embezzled 74 million ISK (580,000 USD/520,000 EUR) in the years 2009-2013.

Read more: Icelandic brothers suspected of raising 350,000 USD in fraudulent Kickstarter campaigns

According to the indictment Einar convinced three other Icelanders in 2010 and 2011 to give him 30 million ISK (240,000 USD/210,000 EUR), which he was to invest with an investment fund he claimed to operate in the US. The fund, which was called “Skajaquoda Fund” never actually existed according to the indictment. 

Instead of investing the money in the manner he had promised, Einar used it for personal needs. Einar then sent the investors false information about the fund, which did not actually exist, its investing strategy and the expected return on the investment. He is also charged with having convinced a fourth individual to invest 272,000 EUR (303,000 USD) in a non-existing investment fund in 2012. None of the investors has been able to recover any of the money.

The indictment describes the fraud as both extensive and thoroughly planned. Einar is also accused of forging documents and illegal currency transactions in violation of the capital controls. According to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV the office of the special prosecutor for financial crimes, which has been investigating the case, impounded 67 million ISK (530,000 USD/470,000 EUR) in July 2013. The victims of the alleged fraud have sued to receive these funds in damages.

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