The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday charged a purported money manager and two of his chief marketers with defrauding investors in a fake company he created. Nearly $1 million of the money they siphoned from investors was given to three Las Vegas call girls.
The SEC alleges that Geoffrey H. Lunn of Sheridan, Colo., operated the $5.77 million investment scheme with assistance from Darlene A. Bishop of Odessa, Texas, and Vincent G. Curry of Las Vegas.
Lunn portrayed himself as the vice president of Dresdner Financial, a firm whose executives he claimed had connections to Dresdner Bank in Germany, and was purportedly planning to purchase several other banks to expand its operations.
The SEC says that Lunn, Bishop, and Curry solicited investors throughout the U.S. and in several foreign countries for their “.44 Magnum Leveraged Financing Program” that they promised could turn an investment of just $44,000 into $2 million within 10 to 12 banking days. However, the SEC says, “Dresdner Financial was not a real company and investor money was not used for any investment purpose. Lunn withdrew the money in cash and Western Union transfers, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bishop and Curry, and gave nearly a million dollars to three Las Vegas call girls.”
What Your Peers Are Reading
In a bizarre twist, the SEC’s complaint says that Lunn also testified to SEC investigators that it was a “one-eyed man” using the alias “Robert Perello” who actually created Dresdner and the Magnum program, and that he forced Lunn to participate in the scheme by threatening to kill him and his family.
Robert Burson, associate regional director of the SEC’s Chicago Regional Office, said in the same statement that “Lunn, Bishop and Curry created an aura of credibility by inventing a fictitious firm with a name similar to a legitimate company. But their 100% guaranteed investment program and the astronomical returns they promised were nothing more than an elaborate hoax.”