A financier from Mound is facing federal charges in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme, accused of stealing more than $1 million from individual investors to fund his and his wife’s lavish lifestyle.
Jeremy R. Lundin, 30, was charged Friday with one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering, both felonies, after a monthslong investigation into his company Big Island Capital by the FBI and IRS. Authorities accuse Lundin of working through a network of associates and friends to solicit investors by promising big returns through “options trading,” then taking their money to finance personal trips, buy expensive jewelry and a luxury boat.
Corporate records indicate Lundin began operating as an unlicensed investment adviser in 2013, when he was still working as an engineer for Aston Technologies, an information technology company with offices in St. Louis Park.
In a welcome packet he sent to potential clients, Lundin claimed that his company showed returns of 67 percent in 2013 and 97.8 percent in 2014. By comparison, hedge funds — which typically invest significantly in options — produced average returns of less than 5 percent in that time period.
From December 2014 to May 2017, Lundin solicited more than $1 million from dozens of investors who entrusted him with their wealth. Lundin lured the victims into a false sense of security by misrepresenting the contents of his brokerage account, where Big Island’s assets were meant to be held for safekeeping, according to the criminal complaint. He once claimed the firm’s capital was $730,000 when, in reality, Lundin had not yet even opened the brokerage account.
Investigators say that in order to appear legitimate, Lundin also created phony account statements and provided investors with online access to fictitious quarterly statements. As part of the scheme, Lundin directed his victim investors to make checks payable directly to Big Island Capital, so he could then deposit the funds into an account he established in the company’s name, according to the complaint.
From May 2015 to May 2017, $992,000 was deposited in that account; over the same time period, $933,950 was transferred directly into his and his wife’s personal checking account, authorities say.
On Jan. 27, 2016, for instance, one of his clients gave Lundin $98,000, court records show. Instead of investing the money, however, Lundin immediately used most of it to buy a $71,118 Maserati sports car, according to an IRS affidavit.
Authorities say Lundin also used his clients’ money pay off more than $366,000 in personal debts. Several investors who say they were close to Lundin believe he also used their money to buy a 32-foot boat, take a trip to Paris and cover the cost of a $15,000 baby shower for his wife.
Though Lundin’s wife, Alex Lundin, identified herself as the chief financial officer of Big Island Capital in her LinkedIn resume, she denied having anything to do with the company during a June interview with the Star Tribune. Charges have not been filed against her.
This is not Jeremy Lundin’s first run-in with the law. In 2015, he was booked on felony charges for choking his wife and threatening to stab her with a broken lamp.
He pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor and was sentenced to 90 days in the county workhouse. He also was convicted of assaulting a police officer in August 2016 after spitting on an officer’s arm during an argument over a traffic stop, court records show.
Staff writer Jeffrey Meitrodt contributed to this article.