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Akers loses millions in Ponzi scheme

AUSTIN, Tex. - Three former starters for the Philadelphia Eagles may have lost millions as victims in an elaborate Ponzi scheme, as a trial continues in Texas.

Kicker David Akers is the last pro football player to testify in the trial of Kurt Barton, an investment manager who handled funds for Akers, Ty Detmer and Sean Considine.

Federal prosecutors in Texas are trying to prove the investment losses came from a Ponzi scheme, where money in borrowed to pay previous borrowers. The defense claims the losses came from legitimate but untimely financial decisions.

Akers said in court this week that he lost $3.7 million in investments he made with Barton.

Earlier, Ty Detmer said he lost most of his life savings, about $2 million, after the former Eagles quarterback invested with Barton.

In court testimony, Detmer said he met Barton through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that the two became close friends.

Considine, a former safety in Philadelphia, is also a Barton client who said he lost money.

In court testimony, Akers said he lost almost $4 million between 2007 and 2009 while he was playing for the Eagles.

In testimony, Considine said that NFL players are trained to spot scams but Barton only spoke about 10 percent to 15 percent returns annually.

He said Barton was introduced to him by Ty Detmer and his brother, Koy Detmer, another former Philadelphia Eagles player.

The Austin American-Statesman said Barton will not testify in his own defense , but his family did testify in court.

Prosecutors claim Barton raised about $75 million from investors, of which about $20 million was returned to investors.

Barton faces criminal charges, including conspiracy, wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. He faces decades in prison if convicted.

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