The Federal Bureau of Investigation seal at the bureau's headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover FBI building, in Washington


  • Christopher Burns was federally indicted on 10 charges in connection with his alleged Ponzi scheme
  • He allegedly stole $10 million from investors and used the money to fund his lavish lifestyle
  • Burns allegedly used the swindled money to fund his Disney trips with family and neighbors

A former youth pastor turned financial adviser and Georgia radio host is facing charges for swindling millions of dollars from his clients, and his son is calling on him to surrender to authorities.

Christopher Burns, who has been missing for over two years, has been federally indicted on 10 charges in connection with his alleged years-long Ponzi scheme. Burns was placed on the Most Wanted List of the FBI after a federal arrest warrant was issued for him on Oct. 23, 2020, The Daily Beast reported.

A federal indictment was unsealed earlier this month, revealing that prosecutors accused Burns of stealing approximately $10 million from dozens of investors by operating an illegal investment fraud scheme.

"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," FBI Atlanta special agent in charge Keri Farley said in a statement.

According to the complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Burns allegedly used several entities, including his own financial and investment advising companies, to promote low-risk investment promissory notes.

He allegedly told his clients their money would be "loaned to businesses that needed financing with little to no risk." Burns falsely said to his clients that their money would be protected by collateral or that he would pool everyone's investment together to lend to startups and charities, the documents alleged.

The complaint noted that Burns told investors that the businesses would repay the principal, as well as the interest as high as 20%. He also promised collateral that "either did not exist at all or was worth substantially less than he represented," according to the complaint.

Burns' Ponzi scheme allegedly sold at least 70 promissory notes to dozens of investors in the states of Georgia, Florida and North Carolina.

Prosecutors and the SEC accused Burns of using his clients' money to fund his lavish lifestyle and promote his business. The complaint stated that Burns used the investments to buy a lake house worth $1 million, a boat, and several cars. The suspect also allegedly used the swindled money to promote his local radio show.

SEC began investigating Burns' businesses in August 2020, when they first contacted him about their probe into him. But a month after SEC contacted Burns, he vanished and left his car in a parking garage, where authorities discovered "copies of three cashier's checks totaling more than $78,000."

Before Burns ventured into finance, he worked as a youth pastor and a leader of a junior high ministry in Indianapolis. He later began working as a life insurance salesman before joining a financial firm. Burns eventually became a financial adviser and planner.

In 2017, Burns began his stint in radio as a host of a Sunday radio show called "The Chris Burns Show" in Atlanta. He used his company, Dynamic Money, to run his radio show, in which he tackled "how this week's headlines practically impact your life, wallet and fortune."

Burns' local radio show allegedly helped elevate his status as an investment adviser and attract more clients, according to SEC.

As his reputation and business began to flourish, Burns became an avid visitor of Disney World.

Burns' son Philip and the suspect's former wife Meredith recounted that they would visit Disney World at least twice a year and even went on several Disney-themed cruises. Meredith revealed that her former husband even paid for their neighbors to join them on a trip. She added that Burns even paid for VIP tours that cost as much as $8,000 daily.

However, Burns' alleged illegal investment fraud scheme forever tainted their happy memories from the trips.

"Originally when I learned that, whenever I would think about it for months, I would become physically sick. I just felt so guilty and awful," Philip told the Daily Beast. "Just me f--king around at Magic Kingdom was [funded] by other people's funds. I still feel awful."

It took months for Philip and Meredith to understand what Burns had allegedly done.

Philip said he had panic attacks and hid inside their house after sleeping for hours. Burns' family also didn't open the blinds of their house as they grappled with the fallout of his crime.

The mother and son urged Burns to surrender and face the consequences of his alleged actions. While they no longer consider him part of their family, Philip said he wants to tell his father to "do what is best, not for yourself, for once."

Former veteran FBI special agent Terry Rankhorn told the Daily Beast that he believes Burns would be caught soon following his indictment.

"Anyone can evade law enforcement, but only for a time. The only thing he is accomplishing is depleting his funds and making things harder on his family," Rankhorn said. "Once you've gotten yourself in the sights of the FBI, your days on the run are numbered."

Burns was also slapped with a class action lawsuit in 2020 in connection with the alleged scheme.

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