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Wife of Big Island Capital fraudster sentenced to 24 months in prison for her role in million dollar Ponzi scheme

6/29/2018 12:06:31 PM

For Immediate Release

SAINT PAUL – A Mound woman has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison for her role in a $1.1 million Ponzi scheme orchestrated by her husband, according to the Minnesota Commerce Department.

Alex Reaves Lundin, age 26, pleaded guilty on February 15, 2018, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. She was sentenced on June 28, 2018, before Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright in U.S. District Court in Saint Paul. In addition to the prison sentence, Lundin must serve three years of supervised release and pay $315,000 in restitution.

When announcing the sentence, Judge Wright told Lundin: “You assisted your husband in a lengthy and complex fraud scheme at the expense of others. Your victims worked hard for their money; for some it was their life savings. You spent victims’ money on yourself, motivated by selfishness and greed to live a lavish lifestyle that you could not afford.”

Lundin’s husband, Jeremy Lundin, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering and was sentenced to 110 months in prison on February 22, 2018.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau, Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Postal Inspection Service.

“Alex Lundin and her husband defrauded friends and neighbors who trusted them with their life savings,” said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman. “Investment fraud is a serious crime and this case shows that if you commit fraud in Minnesota, you will be prosecuted.”

U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said: “Jeremy Lundin swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars from his friends and associates so that he and Alex Lundin could buy luxury cars and take expensive trips. When Alex Lundin found out about her husband’s fraud, rather than taking steps to stop him or make things right, she helped him keep it going for several more months. The Lundins lied to and stole from honest, hard-working individuals who trusted them. Today’s sentence was another step towards justice for those victims.”

“Alex Lundin used investor money for her personal, financial gain. The Lundin’s spent their client’s investment money to enjoy an extravagant and luxurious lifestyle,” stated Special Agent in Charge Gabe Grchan. “Today’s sentencing illustrates that there are consequences for those who use deceit to enrich themselves at the expense of others. IRS Criminal Investigators will continue to pursue individuals who engage in this type of criminal behavior.”

“Today’s sentencing of Ms. Lundin serves as a reminder of the potential penalty for violating the public’s trust in the U.S. mail”, said Craig Goldberg, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Denver Division which covers the Twin Cities.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, from approximately December 2014 through May 2017, Jeremy Lundin claimed that he conducted “options trading” through his business, Big Island Capital.

He worked through a network of the couple’s associates and friends to solicit investors by promising to generate exponential growth through options trading. He obtained $1.1 million from 51 investors over a roughly two-year period.

Between May 2015 and May 2017, at least $992,000 in investor funds was deposited into Jeremy Lundin’s “Big Island Capital” bank account. During roughly the same time period, however, he transferred $933,950 from the business account directly into his and Alex Lundin’s personal checking account. The couple then used the majority of those investor funds on their personal expenses, including travel, luxury automobiles, a boat, jewelry, retail purchases and more than $366,000 in credit card payments.

Alex Lundin admitted that by October 2016, she became aware that her husband was not conducting options trading as he promised investors, and that she and her husband had spent all of the investor funds on personal expenses. However, she continued to assist her husband in carrying out the scheme for another eight months by soliciting new investors and drafting text messages and emails intended to lull current victim-investors into believing their money was safe. During those final eight months when she knowingly participated in the scheme, investors gave Jeremy Lundin another $315,000. 

Commerce is here to help

Media Contact
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
p: 651-539-1463 | c: 651-368-5050 | ross.corson@state.mn.us

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