AUSTIN (KXAN) - Former University of Texas kicker Russell Allen Erxleben was indicted Thursday on federal charges that he was running a Ponzi scheme that generated more than $2 million.
In 1999 Erxleben pleaded guilty to federal charges of security fraud, serving five years. On Thursday, he was taken into custody after being accused of five counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, and two counts of money-laundering.
"According to the indictment, from 2005 until October 2009, Erxleben devised and implemented a scheme to defraud and to obtain money from investors by the use of fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises," the U.S. Attorney's office said in a news release.
Erxleben, 56, appeared before U.S Magistrate Mark Lane on Thursday afternoon. He was kept in custody pending further court action.
Formal arraignment is expected next week.
The 15-page indictment says Erxleben used several companies to promote investments in fraudulent ventures, namely, in post-WWI German government gold bearer bonds and in a work of art purportedly by turn-of-the-last-century artist Paul Gauguin. The companies were called WALTEC Consultants, LRE Holdings and The MDM Group.
Prosecutors filed a motion to keep Erxleben in custody without bail on grounds that he might flee or hinder their efforts.
The indictment said WALTEC stood for "We All Like To Earn Cash" and that MDM stood for "Million Dollar Man" or "My Damn Money."
The indictment also says Erxleben, who played for the Lognhorns in the latter half of the 1970s, used money from the investments to pay dividends to previous investors.
"In furtherance of the fraudulent scheme, the indictment also alleges that Erxleben made various wire transfers using numerous financial accounts which were opened and maintained by others, including one or more family members, in an effort to avoid detection by authorities," the U.S. attorney's news release said.
Erxleben, drafted in the first round by the New Orleans Saints in 1979, also is accused of failing to disclose to investors his 1999 convictions for securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
He is accused of owing some $28 million in restitution stemming from those convictions.
During his days at UT, Erxleben was a standout as a field goal kicker. In 1977, he set a still-standing NCAA record by booting three field goals 60 yards or longer. His 67-yard kick against Rice on Oct. 1, 1977, is tied for the longest ever in the NCAA.
Back then, though, college football allowed field goal kickers to use a 2-inch tee.
Erxleben was also the only collegian named a three-time All American punter.
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