Russell Erxleben, a former placekicker for the Texas Longhorns, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to wire fraud and money laundering charges for his involvement in a $2 million Ponzi scheme that bilked investors for nearly four years. In the plea agreement Erxleben agreed to a term of 90 months in prison and will pay a restitution amount that will be determined by United States District Judge Lee Yeakel. A formal sentencing hearing has been scheduled for February 24, 2013.
According to the indictment, Erxleben used three companies to promote several fake investment opportunities in a scheme that ran from September 2005 to October 2009. The majority of the investments were in defaulted post-World War I German government gold bearer bonds which have a disputed financial worth.
Since his arrest in January, Erxleben has been denied bail twice by prosecutors who portray him as a “wise manipulator” who could pose a threat to the public if released. In 1999 Erxleben was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal conspiracy and securities fraud charges involving foreign currency trading that cost investors over $30 million.
Russel Erxleben was a three time All-American kicker at the University of Texas in the last 1970s. He was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints where he played six seasons.