Prosecutors: Ex-NFL player is the victim of $4.5 M fraud

INDIANAPOLIS – A money manager stole more than $4.5 million over almost a decade of an unnamed former NFL player who played for a number of years for the Indianapolis Colts, a federal prosecutor said Friday.

Kenneth Ray Cleveland, 63, Agoura Hills, California, was indicted on seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering in the investment fraud scheme, the Prosecutor of the V. S. Josh Minkler said.

Cleveland was the footballer financial advisor to start when the player went to the NFL after college, prosecutors said, and the player Cleveland with millions of dollars to invest. Cleveland used $2 million of the money that he received from the player to pay other clients in a Ponzi scheme and spent a further $2 million on personal expenses, prosecutors said. That his mortgage, credit card bills and payments to family members.

“People a lot of confidence in the people who help manage and invest their hard-earned money,” Minkler said in a news release announcing the indictment. “Taking advantage of that trust for personal gain through lies and deceit is a crime that this office takes seriously.”

Cleveland, telephone listing in California was broken and he could not be reached for comment. He faces a maximum sentences of 10 to 20 years and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The prosecutors said Cleveland repeatedly suggested to the player that his investments were safe and to perform well. He gave the player fictitious financial statements, and paid him the interest of the player’s own money, prosecutors said. The scheme was discovered at the time that the player started to ask for his money back, and Cleveland could not provide the funds because he spent them, authorities said.

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