2/22/2018 5:04:12 PM
SAINT PAUL – The Minnesota Commerce Department announced that Jeremy Richard Lundin, age 31, of Mound, has been sentenced to 110 months in prison for operating a Ponzi scheme through which he stole more than $1 million from individual investors. Lundin had earlier pleaded guilty to one count each of mail fraud and money laundering.
The case was the result of a complaint to the Commerce Department, and the Commerce Fraud Bureau conducted the investigation in cooperation with the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Postal Inspection Service.
Lundin was sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright, who told him: “You did not steal from your victims because you needed money … you stole money because you wanted to maintain a lavish lifestyle without earning it. Your victims earned their money, and you stole it. You used their money to buy vacations, clothes, vehicles, a boat, for yourself. Apparently you decided you deserved their money more than they did.”
“To appear legitimate, Lundin used a slick sales pitch and phony documents to steal people’s life savings. His sole objective was to indulge his own extravagant lifestyle,” said Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman. “The Commerce Fraud Bureau is committed to investigating and stopping fraud in Minnesota. We hope that the sentence received by Lundin will deter others from committing fraud in our state.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Amber Brennan said, “Jeremy Lundin had a life that a lot of people dream of, a middle class life. But, he wanted things he could not afford, so he stole from people who had saved money for their retirement and to help their kids go to college. These are people who wanted to give their kids the same opportunities that Lundin himself had. And, he stole from them for no reason other than to live a lavish lifestyle.”
“When fraudsters like Jeremy Lundin take advantage of honest citizens who are simply looking to invest their hard-earned savings and retirement funds for a better life - it’s not only shameful, but devastating,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Hubbard Burgess of IRS Criminal Investigation, St. Paul Field Office. “Today's sentencing demonstrates how federal law enforcement works together to help stop the criminal behavior of those who prey on innocent investors in order to enrich themselves.”
“Postal Inspectors take very seriously their mission to deter the illegal use of the mails for any criminal activity,” said Acting Postal Inspector in Charge, Dana Carter. “We are committed to working together with our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate and bring to justice those who would attempt to mask their criminal activity through the use of the mail. Today’s sentencing should send a clear message to those individuals who are contemplating using the mails for their schemes to defraud, don’t do it.”
From approximately December 2014 until May 2017, Lundin claimed that he was engaged in “options trading” through his company, Big Island Capital. He worked through a network of associates and friends to solicit investors to invest with Big Island Capital by promising those potential investors exponential growth through options trading.
Lundin solicited more than $1 million from at least 51 investors. Instead of using the funds for options trading, he spent investors’ money to fund his and his wife’s lavish lifestyle.
As part of the scheme, Lundin provided victim investors with written materials relating to his purported investment strategy. Through these materials, he claimed that the goal of Big Island Capital was to “generate profits with options trading” and that while he could not “guarantee” an exact percent, he would “shoot for” returns of between 40 percent and 80 percent.
Lundin and his wife used the majority of investor funds on personal expenses, including travel, luxury automobiles, a boat, jewelry, retail purchases and more than $366,000 in credit card payments.
Lundin’s wife, Alex Reaves Lundin, age 25, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and is currently awaiting sentencing.