Raleigh man sentenced to prison in multi-million dollar investment fraud scheme

Wake County News

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A former Raleigh police officer will spend the next 10 years in prison for his role in a multi-million dollar investment fraud scheme.

A federal judge sentenced Gregory Anthony Christos, 62, of Raleigh to 10 years imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.

The court also ordered Christos to pay $3,760,890 in restitution to various individual and corporate victims, as well as the Internal Revenue Service.

Court documents show that Christos was named in a Superseding Indictment filed on October 18, 2017, charging him with wire fraud, money laundering, and failure to file federal income tax returns. 

On Jan. 7, 2019, Christos pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of failure to file tax returns. 

According to court documents, as well as statements made in court, Christos started his career as an officer for the Raleigh Police Department and Wake County Sheriff’s Office and later became the self-described managing partner of Cambridge Global Consultancy, a purported consulting firm through which Christos fraudulently marketed and sold various investment schemes to victims. 

As part of one scheme, documents say Christos defrauded multiple victims through his affiliation with Green Energy Corporation, a software company with prior operations in Raleigh. 

For example, Christos solicited one victim to invest $200,000 into Green Energy. 

Prosecutors say Christos forwarded $100,000 of the victim’s funds to Green Energy and used the remaining $100,000 to pay for personal expenses. Later, he convinced a local engineering firm to invest $2 million into a purported startup business associated with Green Energy.  

Christos used $1.4 million of the victim’s funds to purchase a luxury residence in an upscale development in Youngsville. 

As part of another scheme, prosecutors say Christos sold Green Energy shares owned by victims to pay approximately $194,000 in criminal restitution; the restitution was ordered following his felony conviction in Wake County for embezzling from a former employer while serving as chief operating officer.

Additionally, Christos worked as a purported consultant for a victim business based in eastern North Carolina and used his position to defraud the business out of more than $200,000. 

Christos induced the business to provide his sham consulting firm with funds that he falsely and fraudulently represented would be used to provide interest-bearing loans to distressed companies in need, according to documents. 

In truth, Christos converted the victim’s funds for his own use, including for the purchase of a $28,000 show horse.

“The defendant’s greed knew no limits.  His investment schemes targeted both individuals and companies throughout this district, all in order to line his pockets and fund his lifestyle;” stated U.S. Attorney Higdon.  “Meanwhile, the victims of his fraud were left with nothing but his empty promises.  Given his background as an officer, the defendant should have known better than anyone that the reach of the law is long, and the day would come when he would have to answer for his crimes. Prosecuting those who peddle fraudulent investments to our citizens will always remain a top priority of this office.”

Although Christos grossed millions of dollars throughout the offense period, he willfully failed to file federal income tax returns.  According to the investigation, he has not filed tax returns since 2002.

The Raleigh Police Department said Christo was hired in 1981 and he left the Department in 1988.

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