Wednesday, September 4, 2013 – 09:00 a.m.

The circle of helpless victims surrounding former San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Burnell, and former Redlands Investment Advisor John Thornes, has now grown by two.

Another defendant has also entered the scene.

San Bernardino County Superior Court records show two more lawsuits were filed August 27. This time both actions list Burnell, and contractor Randy Wages, as defendants.

Plaintiff Steve Martinez is seeking $200,000 from both Burnell and Wages, while Harold Frye is suing the two for $300,500.

The new lawsuits brings the current total of recovery actions to eight.

Wages, a Former Reserve Deputy Sheriff for San Bernardino County, is a new addition to the circus surrounding the scheme, which now appears to be in the realm of swindling more than $6.5 million from duped investors.

Investors, who likely have zero chance of recovering most or all of their money.

State of California records show the license for Wages business, R.P. Wages, Inc., has been revoked.

License Number
642516Extract Date9/4/2013
Business InformationR P WAGES INC

Business Phone Number: (909) 798-3333

REDLANDS, CA 92373-6236

Issue Date04/16/1992
Reissue Date05/03/1994
Expire Date05/31/2010
License Status


This license is revoked and not able to contract at this time.


The money was largely spent by Burnell to fund a lavish lifestyle, and gambling at local Tribal Casinos, particularly on the San Manuel Indian Reservation, where Burnell cashed just under $1 million in checks in a period of less than a year.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently banned Thornes, who once had more than $100 million under his management, from the securities industry for improperly taking $4.2 million in client funds. Funds that were mostly handed over to Burnell and Redlands resident Kyle Larick.

Sources say an investigation into the matter is being handled by federal agencies.