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FBI Seeks Help Locating Fugitive Wealth Advisor

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Georgia are seeking the public’s help in locating Atlanta-based financial advisor and radio show host, Christopher W. Burns.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Georgia are seeking the public’s help in locating Atlanta-based financial advisor and radio show host, Christopher W. Burns, who was recently charged with mail fraud for allegedly conducting a Ponzi scheme with nearly 100 victims. The total dollar amount of the scheme was not disclosed.

Burns, a well-known financial advisor and entrepreneur, hosted a radio program on 95.5 WSB called The Chris Burns Show and regularly appeared on television providing investment advice.

According to a class action lawsuit filed last week, the crux of Burns’ investment scheme is that from at least 2017 to September 2020, he raised money from investors by selling promissory notes that were described as safe and conservative “peer to peer” investments. However, it is alleged that the promissory notes were sham investments, unregistered securities and part of a Ponzi scheme.

The FBI claims that Burns conducted business through a number of entities, including Investus Advisers LLC, Investus Financial LLC, Dynamic Money and Peer Connect LLC, which are all named in the class action lawsuit, along with investment advisory firm, Matson Money Inc.

“Burns had an exclusive agreement with Matson Money to refer all his clients to Matson Money, and Burns’ investment adviser agreements with his clients expressly required clients to agree to open investment accounts with Matson Money,” the lawsuit states.

In a statement issued to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Matson Money denied all wrongdoing, stating “Matson Money has never sold, offered or provided custody for promissory notes, particularly those at the heart of the allegations against Christopher Burns.”

The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, Susan Zimmerman, invested a total of approximately $350,000 of her retirement savings between January 2018 and September 21, 2020 and lost her investment. According to the complaint, days before it was reported in the news that Burns had vanished, he allegedly bilked Zimmerman out of an additional $50,000 and convinced her to invest in another peer to peer investment.

In addition, on October 20, 2020, the Georgia Commissioner of Securities issued an emergency order to cease and desist against the Investus defendants for violating the Georgia Uniform Securities Act of 2008 by engaging in a fraudulent scheme and selling unregistered securities, i.e. promissory notes.

Burns has not been located since he left his home on September 24, 2020, one day before he was supposed to turn over documents related to his businesses to the Securities and Exchange Commission. He is also under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. The vehicle he was driving was found abandoned in Dunwoody, Georgia, and inside, were copies of three cashiers checks totaling more than $78,000.

Information on Burns can be directed to the FBI’s Atlanta field office at 770-216-3000 or to the FBI’s electronic tip form at https://tips.fbi.gov.

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