A North Platte High graduate, now a resident of Colorado, has been convicted of scamming million dollar investors.
Tyler Tysdal, 50, graduated in 1989. He was named the Distinguished Alumnus of North Platte High in 2016 based on his business accomplishments. The prize has been withdrawn, school officials said.
Tysdal has pleaded guilty to securities fraud in two cases. He faces concurrent prison terms of up to eight years and is expected to pay restitution. His sentencing is scheduled for January 21.
The Denver DA office said Tysdal runs Cobalt Sports Capital LLC, which provides short-term, high-interest loans to athletes and artists. In total, Cobalt has secured more than $ 46 million from 77 investors, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said.
Through a complicated financial scheme, Tysdal defrauded investors by making false and misleading statements and omitting key facts about its business relationships and operations, McCann said.
Tysdal has agreed to pay more than $ 18 million in restitution, the prosecutor said.
On paper, Tysdal looked impressive. He started his first business at the age of 14, earned an MBA in Commerce from Harvard, and received several business awards during his career.
He “fooled people into promising exorbitant profits with little risk and withholding the truth about his business relationships and operations. These are all tell-tale signs of a scam that reinforce the adage: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, ”the prosecutor’s statement said. “We are delighted to have caught this talented con artist and we thank the many victims who have stepped forward to tell their stories.”
Apart from the Cobalt sports business, Tysdal also operated another scam, claiming to seek investment capital to fund the nationwide expansion of Curious Cork Imports LLC, a wine distributor.
He said Curious Cork will market fine European wines backed by celebrities and athletes and falsely claimed the company is valued at $ 15 million and ready to continue its success. He told investors that the company’s house brand wine alone is expected to be worth $ 25 million soon and that investors could expect a return of 10 to 15 times their investment, the DA said.
“Instead, three investors suffered a total loss of $ 500,000,” McCann said. Tysdal pleaded guilty in this case and agreed to pay $ 500,000 in restitution.
North Platte School Foundation executive director Terri Burchell said Tysdal had just started his business when he received the Distinguished Alumni Award. She said the Schools and Schools Foundation has been monitoring the Tysdal case since December 2019.
She said Tysdal had set up two scholarships with the foundation, but funds were depleted with the last prize in 2020.
“We understand that sometimes people take the wrong path in life, and that’s unfortunate,” said Burchell.
The NPHS Distinguished Alumni Program began almost 30 years ago, recognizing the accomplishments of North Platte High School’s most outstanding graduates.
A committee made up of foundation directors, ENSP administrators, alumni and community members examines the applications. Applications are valid for three years.
Nominations for Distinguished Alumni are accepted year round on NPPSF.org, Burchell said.
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