NFL quarterback Ty Detmer among the scores of athletes that have made bad financial investments. The former Philadelphia Eagle and Detroit Lion says he lost $2 million dollars in a scam headed by Kurt Barton, the former chief executive of Triton Financial.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that Detmer was the first witness called Monday. He fought back tears while testifying that he had lost about $2 million since investing with Triton in 2005.
"You lose money, that's one thing," Detmer said from the witness stand. "But I feel like all I've ever tried to do was just do the right thing."
Prosecutors said the Ponzi scheme ran by Barton targeted former athletes, like Detmer and fellow former Heisman winners Chris Weinke and Earl Campbell. Sounds like he had a thing for former Heisman winners.
Prosecutors said Barton wanted to hang out with NFL players and used money that investors thought was for real estate deals to pay for a luxury box at University of Texas football games, a $150,000 car and family trips on private jets.
The worse part of this is that Detmer met Barton through his church and gave Barton control over most of his savings, taking a penalty for cashing out a $1.2 million annuity because Barton told him he could quickly earn it back.
"I trusted him with everything," Detmer said.
Detmer, who now coaches football at a private school in Austin, said he had to cash out the college savings plans for his two youngest daughters and sell his house.
Locally I know Detmer's name brings up some ill feelings among Lions fans, since he did have a seven interception performance, but this is bigger than football. True indeed the Detmer has earned more than I'll ever see in my life, but he seemed like a good honest man and I actually feel sorry for him. I think he was taken advantage of since he was honest and trusting. I hope he can bounce back from this setback.