CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Monroe, N.C., man charged with wire fraud for operating an investment scheme appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer today, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. A federal criminal indictment was unsealed following the arrest of Christon Jermaine Brewer, 37, who also goes by the names Chris Bozay and Christian Massey.
Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, joins U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
According to allegations contained in the indictment, from October 2018 to June 2022, Brewer executed a scheme to defraud at least ten victim-investors of more than $150,000. Brewer falsely represented to his victims – generally friends or acquaintances of the defendant – that he would invest their funds in the stock market and in a cannabis store he was opening in Miami, Florida. The indictment alleges that Brewer represented himself to victims as a wealthy and experienced investor, who would take advantage of investment opportunities to invest the victims’ money in a manner that would return profits and yield guaranteed returns. The indictment further alleges that Brewer sometimes provided victim-investors with Promissory Notes, reflecting the amount of their investments and the date upon which they were to be repaid. Relying upon Brewer’s false and fraudulent representations, victim-investors would then send thousands of dollars to the defendant for investment, often in cash or using mobile peer to peer payment methods, like Apple Pay or Cash App. As alleged in the indictment, Brewer did not invest the victims’ money as agreed. Instead, he stole the money, and used it to pay for various personal expenses to support his lifestyle. While he was spending the victims’ money, the indictment alleges that Brewer would lull them into thinking their investments were safe by sending them text messages that provided purported updates on their investments and screenshots purportedly showing the high returns on their investments.
Brewer is currently in federal custody. The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The charge contained in the indictment is an allegation and the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The FBI handled the investigation that led to the charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Vento of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is prosecuting the case.