Former NFL placekicker Russell Erxleben was arrested on Thursday and charged with operating an illegal investment fund. The 56-year old is charged with running a Ponzi scheme which netted over $2 million.
From the Associated Press:
According to a federal indictment, the 56-year-old Erxleben scammed investors from 2005 to 2009 with fraudulent deals that promoted dealing in post-World War I German government bonds and a work of art purportedly by French painter Paul Gauguin.
According to the indictment, Erxleben used the investments to pay himself and previous investors. Erxleben was indicted on five counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud and two counts of money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the wire and securities fraud charges, and up to 10 years on the money laundering charge.
He is being held in custody until his next scheduled court date on Jan. 28.
This marks the second time Erxleben, who was drafted in the first round of the 1979 Draft by New Orleans, has been charged with scamming investors out of their hard-earned cash. In 1999, he was charged with ripping off investors to the tune of $36 million. He served an 84-month prison sentence and paid $29 million in fines and restitution charges because of it.
One might have thought Erxleben was a changed man when he was released in 2005, however, that obviously wasn't the case. He picked up right where he left off and is now heading behind bars.
Erxleben was a three-time All-American punter while playing for the University of Texas. He shares the record for the longest field goal in NCAA history after booting a 67-yard kick in 1977. He played with the Saints from 1979-1983 and attempted a comeback with the Detroit Lions in 1983. He officially retired from football in 1988.