John Elway Victim of $71 Million Ponzi Scheme

DENVER, CO – John Elway, former Denver Bronco’s quarterback, was named among about 65 investors Tuesday, October 12, in a criminal case against former hedge-fund manager Sean Mueller of Cherry Hills Village. Mueller, a Greenwood Village hedge fund manager, who threatened suicide in April, was charged Tuesday with theft, securities fraud, and violating Colorado’s organized crime law in an alleged Ponzi scheme involving $71 million.

The Denver district attorney’s office did not disclose the amount that Elway invested. Elway’s agent and spokesman declined to comment.

According to The Denver Post, authorities called the case a classic Ponzi scheme in which Mueller allegedly lured new investors to pay off old ones, with investors’ total losses in the “tens of millions of dollars.”

One place Mueller may have attracted investors was on the golf course. He belonged to top-tier country clubs in the south suburbs as well as in the Phoenix area, where he and his family lived a few years ago.

Prosecutors say Sean Michael Mueller, 42, sent fake monthly account statements to investors and provided his accountants with fake brokerage statements showing consistent returns. Instead of investing the money, prosecutors say Mueller bought three homes, several expensive cars, exclusive country club memberships and spent money on daily expenses.

He controlled Mueller Capital Management LLC, which was seized by regulators in April after Mueller revealed to an employee and in a note to investors that his funds had “lost money from the start.”

Among the victims listed in court documents were Denver Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, and Blaine Rollins, a board member of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Burridge Center for Security Analysis and Valuation at the University of Colorado.

“The confusion has finally won its battle with me, and I feel like there are no good options left,” Mueller wrote in an e-mail April 22. “I always thought I could make it back, but that’s not going to happen.”

Police took Mueller into custody April 22 after he sent apologetic messages to investors and threatened to jump off an RTD parking garage in Greenwood Village, but Greenwood Village police intervened and took Mueller to a hospital.

Mueller estimated that only $15 million remained in a fund that was supposed to have $122 million in assets.

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