US court gives Norway Bieber fraudster 11 years

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Justin Bieber performs in New York, 2012. Photo: Shutterstock.
23:13 CET+01:00
A Los Angeles court has handed an 11-year jail term to a well-known Norwegian innovator who fraudulently claimed to own the rights to Justin Bieber concerts before conning an American investor out of $1 million.

Waleed Ahmed, 22, from Skien, had already pleaded guilty to the charges laid against him after he sold on the rights he fraudulently claimed to hold to the teen pop star’s concerts in Scandinavia, public broadcaster NRK reports

Prosecutors had called for Ahmed to be jailed for nine years, but District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez opted for a tougher sentence.

The decision to lengthen the term surprised the defendant’s Norwegian lawyer, Hans Marius Graasvold, who told NRK he would speak to his American counterpart on Tuesday to decide whether to lodge an appeal.

Before gaining notoriety for the Bieber fraud, Ahmed was widely regarded as one of Norway’s brightest innovators.

In 2011, NRK branded him Norway’s Mark Zuckerberg, as his plans for a solar-powered phone-cover charger earned him plaudits from the then enterprise minister and Crown Prince Haakon.

But when reporters from business news site E24 began to look into his purported big-money deals, they found that many of his claims didn’t add up, NRK reports. It even emerged that the phone-cover charger had in fact been invented by somebody else. 

In autumn 2012 NRK reported that the promising would-be innovator had been arrested and charged with fraud. 

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In 2013, an Oslo court found him guilty in his absence of swindling a Swiss investor out of 3.5 million kroner ($587,000), Dagens Næringsliv reports. 

He has also been charged with insurance fraud after falsely claiming his car had been stolen, reports NRK. 

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