Minnesota Man Charged In $20M Investment Scams

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Twin Cities man with a prior fraud conviction has been indicted for running four investment scams that bilked investors out of more than $20 million.

The indictment unsealed Thursday alleged Michael Joseph Krzyzaniak, 62, lured investors into ventures that were never finished, including Internet terminals at airports, golf courses, a golf club resort in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., and a NASCAR-type race track in Elko, Minn.

Prosecutors said he convinced his victims to invest by lying — telling them their money would go to a specific project, saying each project was moving toward completion, and that he had celebrity endorsements. He also declined to tell investors that he had been convicted of fraud in 1993.

He allegedly spent more than $6 million of investors’ money to support his lavish lifestyle.

He was charged with 30 counts including mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

The Star Tribune reported that his victims include golf pro Phil Mickelson. Mickelson’s attorney declined comment for the newspaper, and was out of the office Friday and did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press.

The newspaper reported that Mickelson invested in the failed Desert Hot Springs project. The golf pro designed the golf course for the resort, but a judge stopped the venture after environmental groups raised concerns.

Krzyzaniak was ordered held until a bond hearing next week and was unavailable for comment. He was appointed a federal defender, but one wasn’t assigned by Friday morning.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • RW

    Another example of American greed. The wealthy Americans are the same way and get republican support.

    • brett

      $20M is $20,000

      • user

        Not even close. K is thousand, M is million.

        • Joe

          Brett is right. $20M is $20,000. $20MM is $20,000,000.

    • snoman

      You must have trouble with reading comprehension. He was not rich and just stole what he wanted from well off investors. That definately sounds like the recipe of a lib taking what does not belong to him and spending it on himself and his chosen recipients. Definately lib policies in action. I can hear it now, “it’s the fault of those people with all that money just tempting me to steal it. I was entrapped I tell you, entrapped”!!

      • rainman

        @snoman that makes no sense at all.

  • Joey

    I wonder where the other 14+million went. Did it go towards these so called investments or just up in the air?

    • Dale

      Does this mean there will be no NASCAR-type track in Elko? What type of track is at that location now? Darn tea-baggers.

  • bRUCE

    A rather high amount of investment scams have come out of this state since the big crash of 2008. This isn’t Mayberry people, it;s a real 121st century state full of dishonest people who look, act, and talk like someone you can trust. If it sounds too good to be true, or you get a feeling something is wrong, shut your wallet, close your purse, hang up the phone, and tell these hustlers No!

  • Husky

    Good answer snowman as you would qualify for a fill in for RUSH!!!!!

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