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Ex-deputy pleads guilty to $5.6-million investment scam

Justice (FILE)
Posted at 10:52 AM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 13:52:36-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Southern California sheriff’s deputy who funded an extravagant lifestyle with $5.6 million he bilked from victims in investment scams has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

The Department of Justice says Christopher Burnell of Highland entered pleas Monday to more than a dozen counts and could face up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors say over a seven-year period, Burnell convinced victims he was a wealthy businessman and promised his victims large and quick returns on their investments.

But instead, prosecutors say he blew $2 million on gambling and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on plane trips and luxury items for his then-girlfriends.