Former Berkely Lake financial adviser Christopher Burns has been indicted for his role in an investment fraud scheme that defrauded dozens of investors of millions of dollars.
“Burns obtained then violated the trust of his clients to fund his lavish lifestyle,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “He betrayed investors and stole their savings with promises of safe investments that would yield high rates of return. Individuals who brazenly cheat their clients should expect to be held accountable. The authorities are continuing to search for Burns, and anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact the FBI.”
“Burns is charged for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from clients in an illegal investment fraud scheme. Financial crimes of this nature can cause significant disruptions to the lives of those who are victimized, and the FBI is dedicated to holding these criminals accountable,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI is still seeking the public’s help in locating Burns and will continue to pursue him no matter how long he tries to evade the law.”
“Ponzi schemes, such as the one Burns carried out, inflict emotional and financial damage on its victims,” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation and our federal law enforcement partners are committed to removing unscrupulous financial advisors from our financial system and ensuring they are brought to justice.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the indictment, and other information presented in court: Burns, an Atlanta financial adviser, conducted business through several entities, including Investus Advisers, LLC, Investus Financial, LLC, Dynamic Money, and Peer Connect, LLC. Investors were promised that their money would be loaned to businesses that needed financing and with little to no risk. In some cases, Burns falsely described the investments as secured by the protection of collateral and personal guarantees. In other cases, he falsely claimed that he would pool investors’ money to lend it to startup businesses and charities. But in reality, he used investors’ money to repay prior investors and to fund his business and his lavish lifestyle. Burns is alleged to have defrauded dozens of victims of at least $10 million.
On April 11, 2023, a federal grand jury charged Christopher Burns, age 40, of Berkeley Lake, Georgia, with 10 counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud, and four counts of money laundering. Burns was previously charged in a criminal complaint on October 23, 2020, with one count of mail fraud.
Burns has not been seen since he left his home on September 24, 2020, one day before he was scheduled to relinquish documents related to his businesses to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The vehicle he was driving was found abandoned in Dunwoody, Georgia. Inside the vehicle were copies of three cashier’s checks totaling more than $78,000. If you have any information about Burns’s location or if you think you were defrauded, please contact the FBI-Atlanta field office at 770-216-3000 or go to tips.fbi.gov
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison B. Prout is prosecuting the case.