Ponzi Scheme Suspect Called It ‘Operation .44 Magnum’
DENVER (CBS4)– The man accused of running a multi-million dollar ponzi scheme in Colorado called his elaborate scam “Operation .44 Magnum.” Investigators claim he ripped off dozens of investors across the nation and in other countries.
Geoffrey Lunn worked out of Boulder but his scheme had ties to Chicago and even escorts in Las Vegas. It brought in more than $5 million.
Lunn, 58, appeared before a judge at the Federal Courthouse in Denver on Thursday. He left the courthouse after being released from custody.
Lunn is facing several charges including wire fraud tied to a ponzi scheme that he admitted to being a part of.
The FBI’s investigation focused on a business named Dresdner Financial based in Chicago.
Lunn claimed he was the vice president of the institution but federal agents learned it wasn’t a real company.
According to court documents the investment scheme was named “Operation 44 Magnum.”
Lunn told agents it was called that because, “When people found out that they’d been ripped off they would buy a .44 Magnum and shoot themselves in the head.”
Agents learned some of the money Lunn received from investors he actually sent to three escorts in Las Vegas. The women were interviewed and said they spent several days with Lunn.
According to court documents, “…mentioned that he worked with stocks and bonds as well as reselling high-end items such as Picasso paintings and jewelry” and that “Money from Lunn started flooding into their accounts thereafter and they thought they had found their billionaire that would take care of them.”
In total, Lunn sent the women more than $800,000 all of which was funded by unknowing investors.
During an interview with the FBI in January, Lunn told agents, “…deep down he knew all along it was a fraud” and “I was guilty. I shouldn’t have taken their money.”
If convicted Lunn faces a $250,000 fine and 10 years in jail. He will also be ordered to pay restitution to his victims.