The man placed a housing advert on Facebook, arranged viewings for three different apartments in the Stockholm region and in some cases handed out forged keys.
Fourteen people, most of them new arrivals in Sweden, paid deposits for the apartments. But none of them got access to their homes, which had been rented by the man under short-term second-hand leases for the purpose of the scam.
Some of the deposits amounted to almost 20,000 kronor each (almost $2,200) and in some cases he managed to get his victims to pay even higher sums by promising elusive first-hand contracts.
In total he got his hands on around 400,000 kronor, wrote Swedish police on their website.
The man, who was found guilty of fraud, money laundering and narcotics offences, was sentenced by Stockholm District court to 14 months in jail. He was also ordered to pay back the money.
LONG READ: The story of Sweden's housing crisis