Feds: Former Cowboy had role in $25 million Ponzi scheme

May 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, May 7 (UPI) -- A former Dallas Cowboys player had a part in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $25 million, federal officials say.

Michael Kiselak, who played with the Cowboys from 1998 to 2000, worked with Jeffrey Sykes to raise at least $24 million from 14 investors, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Sykes, who operated Gemstar Capital Group, a private equity and venture capital company, was sentenced to prison Friday and ordered to pay $17 million in restitution.

Kiselak wasn't charged in the case and was referred to only as M.K. during the case.

Sykes and Kiselak began working together in 2007 to solicit investors in what the men said was a 30-year U.S. Treasury bill swap program, the Securities and Exchange Commission said.

Sykes put the money into numerous venture capital investments, court records indicate.

Kiselak promised investors high returns but pocketed a 35 percent fee on all profits, which the SEC said he failed to disclose. He also falsely told investors his firm made 2.25 percent a month by trading Treasury bills.

The SEC said such statements constituted fraud.

In 2009, Kiselak was found liable for more than $20 million in a civil complaint filed by the SEC.

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