Swedish authorities raided Crowd1’s corporate offices last November.
The previously unreported news was disclosed in a recent episode of Svenska Dagbladet’s paywalled Blenda podcast.
As reported Expressen on March 28th, citing Svenska Dagbladet’s podcast;
Last autumn, the police raided the company’s office in Stockholm, reveals Svenska Dagbladet’s podcast “The IT icon and pyramid money”.
The police seized computers and documents – and arrested three people connected to the company.
They were released after two days, but are suspected of serious economic money laundering, a crime that can lead to up to six years in prison.
Chamber prosecutor Carl Asterius at the Ecocrime Authority explains in the podcast that the criminal classification economic money laundering can be relevant when it is suspected that it is “criminally obtained money”.
And that the suspicion in this case is that it is an illegal pyramid scheme.
SvD Naringsliv additionally reports;
”We had a number of patrols in different locations. Police officers went in and did the raids. I was in the office coordinating the patrols on the ground”, says Swedish Economic Crime Authority investigator Lisa Claesson.
Around 6 AM police entered the Crowd1-offices, located at the flashy tech-hub Epicenter in central Stockholm. Documents, computers and other devices were seized.
Police also raided the homes of a few, key individuals tied to the organization. They were brought into custody for questioning and had to spend the night in jail.
The raid, which took place on November 21, 2022, was done as a part of Swedish law enforcement’s first ever investigation into Crowd1.
(Crowd1’s) Stockholm-office appears to be shutting down after the raid, and most of its employees have recently been laid off.
”They are moving everything to Dubai”, one source tells SvD. ”That is where all the money goes”, another source says.
To date I’m not aware of any official confirmation in writing of the Crowd1 Swedish police raids or arrests.
Sweden taking the lead on Crowd1 corporate raids and arrests is significant, owing to founder Jonas Werner being a Swedish national.
Prior to fleeing to Dubai as Crowd1 took off, Werner is believed to have been living in Spain.
After first showing signs of collapse in early 2020, Crowd1 kept the scam going by periodically changing its Ponzi ruse.
First it was virtual shares, then gambling, then apps, then supplements, then crypto gaming, then shares in a UK shell company and finally, the metaverse,
The latest ruse is some NFT garbage Crowd1 will launch later this year:
Crowd1 President Kenny Nordlund confirmed the Ponzi scheme had stopped paying out in May 2022. Other than the new NFT ruse, things have otherwise been pretty quiet.
Svenska Dagbladet managed to get former Crowd1 CEO Johan Stael von Holstein on as a guest.
Rather than acknowledge his role in promoting Crowd1 as an executive and defrauding consumers out of tons of money, von Holstein trotted out the “bUt I dIdN’t KnOw!” ruse.
(Von Holstein) now says that the real reason was that he was “fundamentally deceived”. That there was a power struggle within the company and that he was presented as CEO even though he was not.
I did not get the role, power and responsibility that I was promised. It created a lot of trouble within the organization, he says in the podcast.
He says he also began to doubt Jonas Werner’s intentions. He says that he himself wanted those who come in last to make money, so not just the first and the top layer as in pyramid schemes.
But Werner only wanted the company to grow, according to Staël von Holstein.
I was absolutely certain that I could get Jonas to do this right, to create millions of jobs for unemployed people, he says.
Von Holstein cashed out of Crowd1 and disappeared back in December 2020.
Von Holstein’s social media suggests he lives in Spain but has maintained ties to Dubai.
How deep the Swedish investigation into Crowd1 goes and whether other countries are involved remains unclear.
Jonas Werner recently visited Thailand to promote Crowd1 before running back to Dubai.
As the head of Crowd1, it’s assumed Werner is in the crosshairs of Swedish authorities. Whether the Swedish investigation will lead to an international arrest warrant remains to be seen.
Werner is believed to have thus far failed to disclose the Swedish raid or arrests to Crowd1 investors.