Former Texas All-American and NFL kicker and punter Russell Erxleben, who previously served a federal prison sentence for securities fraud, was arrested Thursday on new charges of running an illegal Ponzi investment scam that netted more than $2 million.
According to a federal indictment, the 56-year-old Erxleben scammed investors from 2005 to 2009 with fraudulent deals that promoted dealing in post-World War I German government bonds and a work of art purportedly by French painter Paul Gauguin.
According to the indictment, Erxleben used the investments to pay himself and previous investors. Erxleben was indicted on five counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud and two counts of money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the wire and securities fraud charges, and up to 10 years on the money laundering charge.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane ordered Erxleben held in custody until his next court appearance Jan. 28. Erxleben requested a court-appointed attorney but told the court he may also seek to hire private counsel.
Erxleben was sentenced in 1999 to seven years in federal prison for an investment scam that robbed investors of $36 million. The latest indictment said Erxleben did not disclose that conviction or the fact his still owed $28 million in restitution, to his later investors.
Erxleben still holds the record for the longest field goal in UT history – 67 yards – in 1977, a mark that also stands as an NCAA record Erxleben shares with two others. He was a first-round draft pick by the New Orleans Saints in 1979.