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Ponzi Schemers Pulled Off Comic Book Caper

Posted in Ponzi Profiles

In a case worthy of corny 1960’s superhero canon, three Chicago-area men have been sentenced in US District Court for running a Ponzi scheme centered on comic books. Daniel Parrilli, 62, John Lauer, 48, and Christopher Andersen, 57, are all headed back to club fed for respective 70-month, 31-month, and 95-month prison sentences. All three pleaded guilty to the fraud charges brought against them in 2010.

Like many supervillains, Parilli, Lauer and Andersen had originally met in federal prison, where each was serving time for earlier financial offenses. The three combined their special scam powers to become a Ponzi trio, concocting a fraudulent investment scheme that would raise $7 million from 150 people. From 2006 to 2010 under the auspices of their company Sundown Entertainment Inc., the men solicited investments in the distribution of comic book and movie rights. Representing Sundown’s business operation as a wild success, they promised up to 150% returns on principal within mere months.

Yet the dynamic trio’s Sundown venture could generate nowhere near the fantastic profits on offer to investors, so they simply paid out fictitious interest to clients from previously raised funds. In one instance, for the last two months of 2007, Sundown took in just under $8,000 in revenue from the sale of distribution rights while raising $1.7 million in “investments.” The comic-con ultimately burned through $3.6 million, causing losses to 100 victims.

DANIEL PARRILLI

  • Age: 62
  • Company: Sundown Entertainment, Inc.
  • Job: President
  • Scam: Comic Book Distribution Rights
  • Ponzi Time: 2006-2010
  • Rate of Return: 150%
  • Victims: 150
  • Affinity Group: Comic Book Enthusiasts
  • Amount of Fraud: $7 million
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Indictment: Multiple Charges of Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud
  • Court: US District Court, Northern District of IL

US v. Daniel Parrilli Indictment

Daniel Parrilli Plea Agreement

JOHN LAUER

  • Age: 48
  • Company: Sundown Entertainment, Inc.
  • Job: Promoter
  • Scam: Comic Book Distribution Rights
  • Ponzi Time: 2006-2010
  • Rate of Return: 150%
  • Victims: 150
  • Affinity Group: Comic Book Enthusiasts
  • Amount of Fraud: $7 million
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Indictment: Multiple Charges of Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud
  • Court: US District Court, Northern District of IL

US v. John Lauer Indictment

John Lauer Plea Agreement
 

cracked.com

CHRISTOPHER ANDERSEN

  • Age: 57
  • Company: Sundown Entertainment, Inc.
  • Job: Comic Book Distributor
  • Scam: Comic Book Distribution Rights
  • Ponzi Time: 2006-2010
  • Rate of Return: 150%
  • Victims: 150
  • Affinity Group: Comic Book Enthusiasts
  • Amount of Fraud: $7 million
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Indictment: Multiple Charges of Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud
  • Court: US District Court, Northern District of IL

US v. Christopher Andersen Indictment

Christopher Andersen Plea Agreement