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John Elway, business partner lost $15 million in Ponzi scheme

During his playing career, Hall of Fame Broncos quarterback John Elway was often touted as being a savvy businessman who had wisely invested the money he earned in the NFL. But in retirement Elway was reportedly duped into losing a fortune in a Ponzi scheme.

The Denver Post reports that Elway and a business partner invested $15 million with hedge-fund manager Sean Mueller, who was charged this week with racketeering, securities fraud and theft.

Elway and business partner Mitchell Pierce, who say they wired the money to Mueller in March, are among about 65 people who invested about $71 million with Mueller, who now has less than $9.5 million in cash and investments, with liabilities of $45 million.

While he was still an active player Elway was an owner of several car dealerships, and he sold five dealerships for $82.5 million in 1997.

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25 Responses to “John Elway, business partner lost $15 million in Ponzi scheme”
  1. Lady's Love Landry says: Oct 14, 2010 4:36 PM

    why can’t these players just keep their money in a savings account instead of “investing” in crap businesses?

  2. Dewey Axewoond says: Oct 14, 2010 4:44 PM

    First the Cutler-Orton deal and now this?
    What do Denverians keep allowing themselves to get ripped off?

  3. John El Way II says: Oct 14, 2010 4:49 PM

    boo hoo, only 67.5 million left.

  4. Patsfan1776 says: Oct 14, 2010 4:53 PM

    Does the term due dilligence mean anything to anyone?

  5. Rosentard says: Oct 14, 2010 4:54 PM

    Look Smith Elway has blown more money on booze and loose women than your whole family has made in their entire lives. Leave the big boy accounting to millionaires.

  6. County K 66ers says: Oct 14, 2010 4:57 PM

    “First the Cutler-Orton deal and now this?
    What do Denverians keep allowing themselves to get ripped off?”
    In that scheme the Bears lost.

  7. joetoronto says: Oct 14, 2010 5:09 PM

    The whole thing is a big Ponzi scheme, the WHOLE thing.
    It’s about to get really ugly, and not just for millionaires and billionaires.
    http://www.dailymarkets.com/economy/2010/08/29/are-we-going-to-let-ben-bernanke-fool-us-again/

  8. blastfurniss says: Oct 14, 2010 5:13 PM

    So on the playing field Elway got the best of Bernie Kosar but in the business world they have fought to a draw. Hopefully Elway still has some money left and won’t have to file for bankruptcy like Bernie did.

  9. booska says: Oct 14, 2010 5:16 PM

    If you had John Elways money you wouldn’t put into a savings account. You would invest alot like he is. Its way to much of a tax liability to keep it. Unfortunately there are people taking advantage of NFL players and they are a much easier target than your average business firm.

  10. BCfromHell says: Oct 14, 2010 5:21 PM

    What does this have to do with Football? Ex-athletes blow money on bad deals all the time. Nobody cares….,

  11. jsprunner says: Oct 14, 2010 5:22 PM

    To LLL above – the most successful athletes have far too much money to simply leave in a savings account since the bank/FDIC only insures $250,000/account. Many of the active athletes make more than that in a single month. That’s why you see so many investing in real estate, businesses, etc. I am, however, disappointed to see Elway fall for this. He appeared to have had so much business success since he left football, I thought he was either really smart or had great advisors around him. Apparently, neither was true. You have to really drop the ball and not do any real due diligence, or be willfully blind to the facts, to fall into a Ponzi scheme. Yet it keeps happening. Oh well, I’m guessing he’ll get by if he at least followed a diversification plan that kept him from putting it all in one place.

  12. KJgoPack says: Oct 14, 2010 5:26 PM

    Hey Dewey Axewoond, Check your stats I would much rather have Orton then the turn over machine. Not to mention all those picks you gave up to get him. Seems to me Chicago was the one who got ripped off, but it figures the typical Chicagoians thinking they are bettter then everyone all the time.

  13. kahnoodie says: Oct 14, 2010 5:28 PM

    Payback for the Broncos cheating the Salary cap in their superbowl years.

  14. HomoforRomo says: Oct 14, 2010 5:36 PM

    He wasn’t happy with the tens of millions he had, he had to try and get more, and got burned? Is Joe Sixpack supposed to feel sorry for him?

  15. John El Way II says: Oct 14, 2010 5:49 PM

    BooHoo, only 67.5 million left!!

  16. Ray Guy says: Oct 14, 2010 6:03 PM

    Now maybe ‘ol Mr. Ed will have to cut down on his daily taco intake. Geez John, how did you get so FAT?

  17. Tony Alexander says: Oct 14, 2010 6:04 PM

    Guess Elway won’t be bankrolling the soon-to-release feature film starring Devin Thomas as a NFL Wide Receiver…
    Hail to the Redskins

  18. Gray Eagle says: Oct 14, 2010 6:09 PM

    Warren Buffett could make a small fortune by opening up a mutual fund restricted to NFL players and NFL staff.
    Of course, the trick would be to persuade those 25+ somethings to really invest their money for the future, rather than blowing it on diamond earrings, Rolex watches, fast cars, “Arm Candy,” fawning synchophants and McMansions.

  19. nittanylion0 says: Oct 14, 2010 6:41 PM

    hey John, why the long face?

  20. 8man says: Oct 14, 2010 7:04 PM

    Gray Eagle says:
    October 14, 2010 6:09 PM
    Warren Buffett could make a small fortune by opening up a mutual fund restricted to NFL players and NFL staff.
    ————————————————
    Buffet is not familiar with the term “small” fortune.

  21. John El Way II says: Oct 14, 2010 7:07 PM

    @nittanylion0
    LOL!

  22. SmyDChargers says: Oct 14, 2010 9:35 PM

    @Dewey Axewoond
    Cutler for Orton and draft picks a ripoff? hahahaha yeah right, Orton is a better quarterback and leader than Cutler. He has more TD and passes over 40+ yards, oh and by the way Cutler doesn’t even have 1k yard right now, while Orton has nearly 2k lol.
    As for Elway losing money, you don’t know the whole back story,it’s not like he and his partner were the only ones who invested, 65 others did invest also.

  23. Dewey Axewoond says: Oct 14, 2010 11:47 PM

    Just as I suspected–not only do Denverians not know how to make smart trades, they also don’t get humor.

  24. Shadenfreuder says: Oct 15, 2010 3:01 AM

    And Baltimore Colts fans everywhere were heard saying GOOD! Elway screwed the Colts and pretty much led to them leaving town, and now karma is paying him a little visit.

  25. Cerberus says: Oct 15, 2010 8:05 AM

    Karma?
    The Donks and Elway cheat the salary-cap to “win” a couple of SBs, then Mueller cheats Elway out of his off-the-books payments from Bowlen. And even though the Donks are recorded as the SB champs those years, I guess it is ultimately true that cheaters-never-prosper!

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