Day in Court: The Sentencing of Ponzi Schemer Sean Michael Mueller

December 2010

There weren't many words wasted on saving the soul of Sean Michael Mueller—the former hedge fund manager behind the $71 million Ponzi scheme that victimized high-profile investors like John Elway—as Mueller was sentenced to 40 years in prison for racketeering, securities fraud, and theft. Mueller was ordered to pay $74 million in restitution, which he probably won't be able to do, notes the Denver Business Journal. U.S. District Court Judge Martin Egelhoff said the case "is less about sheer greed and more about ego or hubris or something like that." One investor added, "I'm selling my house because I can't afford it anymore....I'm selling everything because of this man."

Mueller admitted to doing some "awful things" during his sentencing. "This is on me," he conceded. "I have no one else to blame but myself" (via 9News). In April, Mueller had threatened to jump off a parking structure as the scheme began to unravel. "It would have been better if the defendant jumped," says one angry investor, who thinks the sentence Mueller received isn't harsh enough (via 7News). Eddie Calus, a retired car dealer from Cherry Hills Village who lost money, says "40 years means he's out on the street in 20 or less. I hope I'm gone before he gets out" (via The Denver Post).