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State investigates alleged Ponzi scheme

7:57 AM, Apr 27, 2010   |    comments
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Late last week, a judge decided to freeze the assets of Denver Tech Center business, Mueller Capital Management. Investigators think 41-year-old Sean Mueller was running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme, which they say could include clients that are high-paid Colorado athletes.

Mueller Capital was shut down by the state last week.

"I would allege there's a Ponzi scheme," Joseph said.

Joseph has been investigating Mueller for a month. The investigation really took off last Thursday, when court documents revealed Mueller had attempted to take his own life by jumping off a building. Investigators were able to stop him.

Joseph says Mueller claimed to have a complicated investment strategy to make it sound like investors could make a lot of money on returns. Joseph says before Mueller's attempted suicide, Mueller sent out e-mails to investors.

"It would appear to be a suicide note, and based on his actions, that's what he appeared to do," Joseph said.

9NEWS obtained copies of those e-mails; one of them was titled "thank you and sorry."

"Just based on the wording of the letters, he has in fact lost the money and there is no hope," Joseph said.

Joseph says Mueller's company asked for a minimum investment of a half million dollars.
"We're talking serious money here," Joseph said.

Joseph is trying to figure out who the investors were, but he says it is possible the list includes some prominent Coloradans.

"We could be talking about professional athletes, dentists, doctors," Joseph said.
In the e-mails, Mueller tells his investors "...nobody had any idea what was happening except me."

Joseph asked a judge last week to freeze assets of Mueller Capital Management, alleging Mueller violated the antifraud provisions.

"I'll allege that he took it from the money that came in from the later investor to pay the earlier investor ... that's a Ponzi scheme," Joseph said.

Joseph has issued subpoenas for records to find out where the money came from, and where it went.

9NEWS stopped by Mueller's DTC office on Monday, but it was locked. A note on the door asked investors to contact the state's Department of Regulatory Agencies.

Joseph confirmed that is the department investors are urged to call.

The phone number for the Division of Securities is: 303-894-2320, and the website is: http://www.dora.state.co.us/securities/index.htm

Investigators tell us Mueller was not arrested. Court documents say after his attempted suicide he was taken to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.

9NEWS tried contacting Mueller for a comment, but we were unsuccessful. 9NEWS also tried the lawyer listed as Mueller's legal counsel, but calls weren't returned as of Monday night.

The Securities Commissioner says his office has noticed a 15 percent increase in Ponzi schemes this year.

He thinks it's because the economy is forcing some investors to pull their money out, and that's when the investors learn the Ponzi scam artist can't pay them anything.

If you're an investor, we'd like to share your story. Please contact eric.kahnert@9news.com.

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