Ex-financial advisor from Springfield goes to prison for Ponzi scheme

Published: Oct. 20, 2016 at 4:43 PM CDT
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A man from Springfield received a federal prison sentence of two years and nine months on Thursday for an investment fraud scheme that gained him more than $1.1 million. A judge also ordered Christopher Hanson, 54, to pay $1,134,500 in restitution to his victims.

Hanson pleaded guilty on Sept. 14, 2015, for wire fraud and money laundering. The owner of Hanson Holdings admitted he was responsible for losses that totaled $1,134,500 for three victims of his Ponzi scheme.

Hanson offered the three victims what he described as “an investment opportunity.” Hanson told two of the investors that he would take their investment monies and purchase a collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO). Hanson claimed a line of credit would be obtained against the CMO and both investors would receive their original investment plus a substantial dividend within months.

Hanson told the third victim that he would purchase bonds and securities with his $100,000 investment. Hanson claimed this investment would generate a 250 percent return and the investor would receive double his original investment within 40 weeks.

Financial records revealed none of the monies obtained by Hanson or Hanson Holdings from these three investors were used to purchase securities or a CMO as Hanson promised. Agents determined Hanson authorized the release of the investors’ monies from his Scottrade Account, ETrade Account, or StockCross Account, into his personal bank accounts.

Hanson used the money for personal expenses, to pay off parties unrelated to the investment, or he would use the money to pay off earlier investors who were clamoring for a return of their money.

According to court documents, Hanson also engaged in an unrelated ongoing fraud in Apple Valley, Minn., for which he faces a civil suit. Hanson also faces state charges in Greene County Circuit Court for a similar, but unrelated, fraud scheme.

The FBI and IRS investigated this case.