Former NFL kicker Russell Erxleben was charged in a Ponzi scheme on Thursday. The former college All-American and NFL player was arrested by federal agents at his home near Austin, Texas.
Erxleben was charged in a federal indictment on one count of securities fraud, five counts of wire fraud, and two counts of money laundering. The indictment was unsealed on Thursday.
Yahoo! News reports that the former kicker has previous fraud convictions as well. In 1999, he was sentenced to jail for 84 months after he was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
This time, investigators allege that Erxleben set up several companies and solicited customers. The scheme involved getting them to buy post-World War One German government gold bearer bonds, as well as a painting by French artist Paul Gauguin.
Instead, the former NFL kicker actually used the money for himself. He also used it to pay dividends to previous investors in the classic Ponzi scheme.
Fox Sports notes that Erxleben’s charges could net the 56-year-old 20 years in prison for each wire and securities fraud charge, as well as up to 10 years for his money laundering charge.
Darrell Fields, a spokesman for the US Attorney for the Western District of Texas, stated:
“Erxleben made various wire transfers using numerous financial accounts which were opened and maintained by others, including family members, in an effort to avoid detection.”
The scheme gave the former NFL kicker more than $2 million. Fields added that Erxleben currently owes $28 million in restitution from his 1999 conviction. He will stay in federal custody pending a detention hearing next week.