Ponzi schemes seem to be much more common than most people ever realized and have had a widespread effect on the sports world. First, we had Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion scheme that resulted in a partial sale of the New York Mets. Then, we learned about a contributor to a Dodgers charity who ran a Ponzi scheme. Recently, former Georgia football coach Jim Donnan has been accused of running a scheme that involved several other coaches. Now, the latest allegations have come to light in a federal trial this week.
San Francisco 49ers kicker and longtime Eagle David Akers testified in a federal trial Monday that he lost $3.7 million by investing with Triton Financial in Austin. According to The Austin American-Statesman, prosecutors claim that Triton CEO Kurt Barton continuously lied to investors about where their money would go, how it would be used and about how he had a large amount of personal wealth to back the investments in building a $50 million Ponzi scheme. Burton’s lawyers say he wasn’t running a scheme but rather he made a series of poor business decisions.
“I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights,” said Akers. “As I said, this is my family’s future. I said that to Kurt a lot of times. I said, ‘Man I’m trusting in you.’”