Hedge Fund Fraudster Mueller Pleads Guilty

Nov 2 2010 | 2:43am ET

Sean Mueller, the Colorado hedge fund manager who threatened suicide as his Ponzi scheme unraveled, has pleaded guilty to ripping off investors to the tune of $71 million.

Mueller pleaded guilty to securities fraud, theft and violating Colorado's organized crime law. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped a fourth charge and agreed to a sentence of no more than 40 years in prison when the 42-year-old learns his fate on Dec. 6.

Mueller's scam victimized some 65 investors, including Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway. According to prosecutors, Mueller lied to investors about the size and success of his Mueller Capital Management and its Mueller Over-Under Fund. According to the state’s lawsuit against him, Mueller admitted he scammed investors in a series of e-mails and notes written prior to his suicide attempt in April, when he was talked down from a building in suburban Denver. In a note written after the suicide attempt, Mueller admitted that documents claiming his Over-Under Fund managed $122 million were falsified. He wrote that only $15 million remained of the $20.6 million he collected.

Mueller also allegedly promised double-digit returns regardless of market conditions, telling potential investors he had never lost money in eight years and consistently returned between 12% and 25% annually.

Only about $9.5 million remains in Mueller Capital's accounts, against some $140 million in liabilities.

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