A young Norwegian known for managing to mingle with people in powerful positions in Norway has been sentenced to 11 years in prison in the US. Waleed Ahmed, convicted of fraud tied to false claims that he held the rights to Justin Bieber concerts in Scandinavia, faces more lawsuits against him when he eventually returns to Norway.
Ahmed, who initially gained fame and connections for fronting a solar energy venture that later proved to be a sham, was arrested while trying to leave the US in 2012. He was charged with cheating California investor Todd Weinberg out of USD 1 million in connection with his alleged Beiber connection.
Ahmed also was convicted by an Oslo court in January and ordered to pay USD 600,000 to a Swiss investor he was found to have defrauded. He faces another case of criminal fraud in a court in Follo, south of Oslo, for falsely claiming that his new BMW automobile had been stolen.
These cases and court orders will be waiting for him if he eventually returns to Norway after serving his jail sentence in Los Angeles. His earlier ventures in Norway, including a company that allegedly produced solar-run battery charges for iPhones, gained enough attention that he broke into the highest circles of the then-Labour Party-led government. He used photos taken of himself with former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, former Trade Minister Trond Giske and Crown Prince Haakon, among others, to gain credibility with foreign celebrities and investors.