Man Pleads Guilty In Ponzi Scheme That Defrauded Athletes

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado man has pleaded guilty to defrauding investors, including multiple professional athletes, of millions of dollars in a nearly decade-long Ponzi scheme.

Tyler Tysdal, 50, of Lone Tree, faces up to eight years in prison and must pay more than $18 million in restitution as part of a plea deal, the Denver District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.

He and his business partner were indicted in 2019 on 67 counts, including securities fraud, theft and violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, The Denver Post reported.

The indictment redacted the names of the alleged victims, but a leaked copy reviewed by the newspaper showed they included three former University of Southern California quarterbacks: Carson Palmer, a 15-year NFL veteran and 2002 Heisman Trophy winner; Matt Cassel; and Mike Van Raaphorst.

Tysdal made short-term, high-interest loans to athletes and entertainers through his company, Cobalt Sports Capital, LLC, which obtained more than $46 million from 77 investors. Prosecutors say he defrauded investors by making false and misleading statements and by omitting key facts about his business.

Tysdal also pleaded guilty to securities fraud in a second scheme in which he claimed to be seeking investments to fund the national expansion of a wine distributor. He agreed to pay $500,000 in restitution in that case.