GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Federal agents have now taken over the case of a missing Gwinnett County financial expert.
Channel 2′s Tony Thomas first broke the story when financial adviser and radio talk show host Chris Burns vanished in September. Burns disappeared the day before a Securities and Exchange Commission deadline to hand over paperwork in an undisclosed investigation.
Burns is still missing, and money could be missing too.
Thomas confirmed that the FBI and its financial fraud unit took over the case a few days ago. Until now, Gwinnett County police had been handling most of the investigation.
Thomas talked to Vic Hartman, who spent 25 years with the FBI, leading some of the biggest fraud cases in recent history.
Hartman now runs a Buckhead investigative firm, but had some idea of what is likely going on behind the scenes in the investigation.
"Between the FBI and the SEC, they’ve likely put restraining orders and/or seizure warrants on any known accounts, Hartman said. “If there is any money, that’s an ‘if,’ there is any money, those should have been frozen at this time. More times than not, there are going to be pennies on the dollar.”
Burns bought airtime for his talk show on WSB Radio and was not an employee. He ran companies called Dynamic Money, Investus Financial and Investus Advisors out of offices in the Sandy Springs building.
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Thomas found SEC records showing that in 2019 Burns reported 92 clients.
One of his clients was Angie O’Conner, who fears her money is gone.
“I think I’ve accepted that the money is gone,” O’Conner said.
O’Conner and others said they would like to know where Burns is and what happened.
“It’s really just, we hear this term all the time, but follow the money,” Hartman said.
Burns has not been charged with any crime at this point. The attorney for Mrs. Burns released a statement Thursday afternoon saying she is aware of the FBI’s involvement and is cooperating fully.