Russell Allen Erxleben, a former kicker for the University of Texas, was indicted and arrested by federal authorities Thursday morning for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that generated more than $2 million.
According to a statement from the Department of Justice, the 56-year-old Dripping Springs resident lured investors with a variety of fraudulent businesses and projects, including a work of art by a famous 19th century artist and government gold bearer bonds.
Federal officials say he used the money obtained to his own benefit and to pay off past investors. The indictment also states Erxleben made several wire transfers from debunked accounts which were opened by others, including his own family members.
The former UT player also failed to tell his investors he was convicted in 1999 on federal felony criminal charges, including securities fraud. His past criminal history resulted in him owing $28 million in restitution, according to officials.
The Ponzi scheme was investigated by multiple agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security, from 2005 to October 2009.
Exrleben is charged with five counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud and two counts of money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each of the wire fraud charges and securities fraud counts, and up to 10 years in federal prison on the money laundering charge.
He is currently in federal custody pending a hearing next week.
Erxleben’s son Ryan attended Lake Travis High School, and is now a punter for Texas Tech University.