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Veteran swindles Navy members and loses money on ‘risky’ GameStop investment, feds say

A gavel rests on a judge bench. (The Columbus Dispatch/TNS)

A U.S. Navy veteran convinced retired and active-duty Navy members to invest with him, then he used their money on shopping, eating out and gambling, according to federal authorities.

Of the funds that he did actually invest, authorities said he lost most of their money “by placing a highly risky bet on the ‘meme stock’ GameStop.”

Robert L. Murray, 43, of Chicago was indicted Monday, Dec. 12 on four counts of wire fraud, according to a Dec. 14 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

A defense attorney for Murray was not listed in public records on Dec. 15. Murray could not be reached for comment by McClatchy News.

Authorities said that after Murray retired from the Navy, he began to occasionally trade securities online from his home. He then founded “Deep Dive Strategies LLC” investment fund, “which purported to invest in publicly traded securities,” according to the news release.

The Navy veteran advertised his work on social media, making “materially false representations and promises in his social media posts, in his emails and in his written offering materials to prospective investors,” prosecutors said in the indictment. He sought investors, including fellow service members, officials said.

But instead of trading or investing the funds as promised, Murray secretly used “a significant portion” of their money for his and his girlfriend’s personal expenses, according to court records. The rest of the funds were lost through “short-term, high-risk trades.”

When investors asked about their funds, Murray would ignore them or refuse to answer their requests, officials said.

In total, authorities said Murray lost more than $342,000 in funds entrusted to him.

If Murray is convicted, he’d face up to 20 years in federal prison for each count of wire fraud.


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