American Greed

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Triton Financial

When Texas investment firm Triton Financial wanted to solicit business from professional athletes, it hired a bevy of former NFL players to help make the pitch. The firm's roster included former NFL quarterbacks Jeff Blake (inset, left) and Ty Detmer (inset, right), Koy Detmer and Chris Weinke.

In December 2009, Triton Financial was sued by the SEC for defrauding investors in a multimillion dollar insurance scam. The SEC's lawsuit focused on Triton Insurance, the firm's main fundraising vehicle, which raised $8.4 million from 90 investors between July 2008 and October 2009.

These investors were initially told their money would be used to buy a specific insurer, but the acquisition was put on hold. Funds were instead used to pay bills for Triton and its affiliates, the SEC said.

Texas State Securities Board spokesman Robert Elder said Triton had engaged in a "shell game" that shifted investors' money from one entity to another without permission.

In February, a federal grand jury indicted Triton's former CEO Kurt Barton on charges including money laundering, wire fraud and securities fraud.

Photo: Larry Kolvoord/Austin American-Statesman | Insets: Getty Images