A lawsuit filed against missing Atlanta financial advisor Christopher Burns, who has been charged by the FBI with wire fraud, alleges that he used “sham” promissory notes to run fraudulent schemes, according to news reports.
Burns left his home on September 24, amid an investigation by the SEC into his companies, and his whereabouts remain unknown. Earlier this week, when announcing the charges against him, the FBI said that Burns may have fleeced several victims to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now, a class action complaint details Burns’ alleged fraud and claims that he swindled more than 90 investors out of more than $5 million.
Burns and companies that he controlled allegedly convinced investors to buy promissory notes “falsely described to them as safe and conservative ‘peer to peer’ investment opportunities,” according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northeastern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division on behalf of Susan Zimmerman and other victims of Burns’ alleged fraud, the Omaha World-Herald reports.
“In reality, the promissory notes were sham investments, unregistered securities and part of a Ponzi scheme that, as explained below in greater detail, Defendants used to line their pockets and defraud investors out of millions of dollars,” the suit says.
The lawsuit, which seeks damages and legal fees, also names Matson Money, Investus Advisers, d/b/a Dynamic Money, Investus Financial and Peer Connect, through which Burns did business, the FBI has said.
“Burns made himself appear to the public as a charismatic, competent, and trustworthy family man,” the lawsuit says, according to the newspaper.
Burns is also facing an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service.
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