The man, who hails from Ängelholm in northern Skåne, was charged in mid-June for having tricked two farmers on the Baltic island of Öland into believing he would sell them 90 cows.
After seeing what turned out to be a bogus ad placed by the man in the Swedish agriculture trade publication Landbrukets Affärstidning (ATL), the farmers promptly deposited 490,000 kronor ($70,000) in the 23-year-old’s bank account.
But the Öland-based farmers never received any cows, which were supposed to be delivered from Jämtland in northwest Sweden, prompting them to report the matter to police.
“Everything sounded so good and it felt credible,” one of the defrauded farmers told police, according to the Helsingborg Dagbladet (HD) newspaper.
The 23-year-old was charged with aggravated fraud and receiving stolen money, but was convicted by the Helsinborg District Court on the latter, less serious charge, resulting in a sentence of probation.
Police suspect that other people are involved in the crime, but the 23-year-old has refused to name any accomplices.
He had previously told police that he was under threat from a Gothenburg gang that has forced him to let them use his bank account in exchange for drugs but that he didn’t benefit financially from the fraudulent livestock transaction.
Regardless, the man must now pay 465,000 kronor plus interest to the farmers as compensation for their loss.
The court also ordered the man to undergo treatment for his drug abuse, according to ATL.