Investment fund manager admits massive fraud

A man accused of defrauding dozens of investors, including former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, in a $71 million Ponzi scheme pleaded guilty Monday to charges of theft, securities fraud and violating Colorado’s organized crime law. In exchange for Sean Michael Mueller’s plea, prosecutors agreed to drop one charge of theft and not seek more than 40 years in prison. In court, prosecutor Joseph Morales said the plea agreement also includes restitution, though outside of court, Morales said the dollar amount has not yet been determined. Authorities say 65 people invested $71 million with the company over 10 years, but in April it had $9.5 million in assets and $45 million in liabilities.

Flat TV screens boost Corning profit

Corning Inc. said Monday its profit jumped 22 percent in the third quarter but it missed Wall Street expectations on lower sales of glass for flat-panel televisions. Its shares rose despite concerns about weaker retail demand in the United States for liquid-crystal-display TVs. Because of ample supplies, the world’s largest maker of LCD glass said it expects a more pronounced drop than usual in LCD glass prices in the quarter. Corning warned in September that LCD volume might fall in the third quarter from its unusually high plateau.

AIG raises $37 billion for bailout

AIG said Monday it raised nearly $37 billion from the divestment of two foreign insurance units and will use that money to repay a government bailout. The sale of the two units fits into AIG’s previously announced plan to repay the government’s bailout in full. The repayment will include the government taking a bigger stake in the company and eventually needing to sell common stock in AIG to recoup its money, similar to what it is doing right now with Citigroup Inc. shares. The Treasury Department said Monday that it would make money if the value of AIG’s stock and other investments remain at current prices. Market fluctuations could alter whether the government’s biggest bailout from the recession turns out to be profitable.

T-bill rates fall in Monday auction

The Treasury Department auctioned three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.125 percent, down from 0.13 percent last week. Six-month bills were auctioned at a discount rate of 0.155 percent, down from 0.17 percent. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,996.84 while a six-month bill sold for $9,992.16. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.127 percent for the three-month bills and 0.157 percent for six-month bills. Separately, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for changing adjustable rate mortgages, rose to 0.23 percent last week from 0.22 percent the previous week.

From Herald news services