BULLETIN: NOTRE DAME HEARTBREAKER: Legendary Fighting Irish Football Walk-On Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger Charged With 12 Others In Alleged $11 Million ‘Pump And Dump’ Penny-Stock Swindle

BULLETIN: The SEC has charged Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger and 12 others — including a disbarred attorney — in an alleged penny-stock swindle that gathered $11 million.

The civil case is filed in U.S. District Court in Nevada.

Ruettiger, 63, of Las Vegas, was the inspiration behind the movie “Rudy,” which depicted his drive to make the Notre Dame football team as a walk-on despite being undersized.

A motivational speaker who became famous after the movie, Ruettiger founded a company known as Rudy Nutrition, positioning its sports drink against Gatorade, the SEC said. The stock traded under the symbol RUNU, and stock promoter Stephen DeCesare of Las Vegas “put the RUNU scheme together,” the agency charged.

“Investors were lured into the scheme by Mr. Ruettiger’s well-known, feel-good story but found themselves in a situation that did not have a happy ending,” said Scott W. Friestad, associate director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “The tall tales in this elaborate scheme included phony taste tests and other false information that was used to convince investors they were investing in something special.”

The SEC identified the disbarred attorney as Kevin J. Quinn of Santa Monica, Calif.

As part of the scheme, the SEC said, potential investors received a promotional mailer that “falsely claimed that in ‘a major southwest test, Rudy outsold Gatorade 2 to 1!”

A promotional e-mail, the SEC said, “falsely boasted that in ‘several blind taste tests, Rudy outperformed Gatorade and Powerade by 2:1.'”

At the same time, “the scheme’s promoters engaged in manipulative trading to artificially inflate the price of Rudy Nutrition stock while selling unregistered shares to investors,” the SEC said.

Ruettiger has agreed to pay $382,866 to settle the charges without admitting or denying the allegations, the SEC said. Ten other defendants also entered settlement agreements without admitting or denying wrongdoing, and all of the agreements must meet with court approval.

In bringing the complaint, the SEC described a “classic pump-and-dump” swindle that featured a reverse merger, fraudulent touting, bogus press releases, videos, ceaseless hype and Internet postings.

See full list of defendants here.

Read the SEC complaint here.

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2 Responses to “BULLETIN: NOTRE DAME HEARTBREAKER: Legendary Fighting Irish Football Walk-On Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger Charged With 12 Others In Alleged $11 Million ‘Pump And Dump’ Penny-Stock Swindle”

  1. While this is a sad tale indeed, but when you consider (assuming he only got 1/12 of the $11+ million) he pays a fine of $382,866 to settle and he gets to keep the rest; plus doesn’t have to admit or deny he did anything wrong? Not a bad deal at all.

    Makes you wonder if there will be any civil lawsuits filed against him and the others by the duped investor’s.

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