A former California sheriff’s deputy, Christopher Burnel, plead guilty to wire fraud and filing false tax returns.
Burnel deceived victims into investing 5.6 million dollars with him by claiming that he was an entrepreneur who had made millions from lawsuits against the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department and Kaiser Permanente. He also told potential victims that he had sold a patent to an air-cooled, bullet-proof vest, and made a fortune through investments in small businesses and money lending.
None of the investment opportunities Burnel claimed existed, and he
spent the money on maintaining a life of luxury. He spent $500,000 on trips on private jets, $70,000 on Louis Vuitton merchandise, $175,000 on luxury cars and an apartment lease for his then girlfriends. He also lost more than two million dollars gambling.