Just five years ago, Victor Carlström hosted Prince Carl and Princess Sofia of Sweden on his yacht in Saint-Tropez, where he owned the best spot on the harbor, in front of Café DeParis. Just 28 years old, and the hottest financial brokers in Sweden, Carlström had it all.
A young family. Trusted relationships with the world’s largest banks. Private jets and a yacht. And a whole lifetime to soak it in and relish the lifestyle.
He was a broker for the biggest financial company in Sweden – Folksam – and quickly became its highest volume broker. Carlström had the trust of a huge number of wealthy clients. He felt like the king of the financial system he worshipped.
Then the yacht, figuratively, started taking in water.
Carlström become suspicious when the company asked him to engage in activity that in effect stole money from his clients. He had already developed some suspicion about Folksam’s activities. After sniffing around and asking questions, he encountered shocking and unfortunate discoveries.
Not only was his company seemingly corrupt; the entire financial system of Sweden seemed poisoned by a network of the same corruption. After mentioning his concerns to then-CEO Jens Henriksson, he was quickly dismissed. Millions of dollars of owed commissions were never paid to Carlström.
Carlström quickly came to realize Henriksson was very close personal friends with many powerful people, including top officers in Sweden’s financial regulatory and oversight organizations and agencies. Each of them used the relationships for personal gain, stealing, defrauding and lining their own pockets – at the expense of so many others.
As Carlström continued to investigate, and register complaints with authorities, pressure mounted on him and his companies rather than on Folksam, Henriksson and Swedish regulators. It was his firms that were subject to investigation and scrutiny while the Swedish financial system never went under the microscope.
He started receiving unusual and anonymous threats, necessitating him and his family to flee Sweden. They eventually ended up in New York City and Carlström applied for asylum. In the states, he has been subject to more harassment and at least two attempts on his life. His wife and children – fearing for their safety – have left Carlström. He changes locations every two or three days and is alone during a global pandemic.
While Carlström’s faith in the financial system ruined, he’s turning to the justice system for relief. He recently filed a $4.2 billion lawsuit against Henriksson, Folksam, Swedbank, and several others – including the Swedish agencies and their leaders whom he claims perpetrated a $150 billion money laundering scheme – which would be one of the largest in history.
Of note, also, Carlström has implicated an associate of Turkish president Recep Erdogan. The lawsuit says an account in Swedish conglomerate Ariem was controlled by Binali Yildrim, a former Turkish prime minister with close ties to Erdogan. That account was flagged for illegal financial activity by Carlström and was, in fact, involved in the larger money laundering scheme. Immediately after reporting irregularities by Ariem, Carlström began receiving death threats from Turkey.
The lawsuit alleges the following activities, plus others:
- Money Laundering;
- Illegal commissions to government officials;
- Mail Fraud;
- Wire Fraud;
- Tortious interference with contracts;
- Conspiracy to murder;
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York. Henriksson, Folksam, Swedbank and the Swedish governmental authorities named in the case have sought high-powered legal representation and the case is progressing.