As longtime KWGN/Fox31 host Natalie Tysdal launches her own digital network after leaving the popular morning-news program Daybreak, her husband, Tyler Tysdal, is in the midst of a serious legal battle. On Thursday, February 18, he's scheduled for two appearances in Denver District Court involving a combined seventy counts connected to alleged financial malfeasance. Among the reported victims is a former National Football League all-pro quarterback.
The first of the hearings is a status conference related to a December 2019 grand jury indictment. Carolyn Tyler, spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney's Office, spells out the specifics, using abbreviations for the classifications of several felonies: "Mr. Tysdal is charged with 67 counts. ... The highest charge is violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (F2). He is also charged with multiple counts of securities fraud (F3), conspiracy to commit securities fraud (F4) and one count of theft (F2)."
The second action on February 18 will be "an arraignment," Tyler explains. "Mr. Tysdal is charged with three counts of securities fraud — untrue statement or omission (F3)." This smaller batch of indictments came down on December 16, 2020, in conjunction with a warrant for Tysdal's arrest; court records show that bail of $10,000 was posted on December 22, leading to the warrant's cancellation a week later.
In September 2019, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Tyler Tysdal had personally paid around $1.1 million to settle a series of complaints. Here are the details, from the SEC release about the case:
The Securities and Exchange Commission...announced settled fraud charges against Tyler T. Tysdal of Lone Tree, Colorado, for his role in multiple schemes to defraud investors.
First, the SEC's order finds that between January 2014 and October 2016, Tysdal and his business partner Grant M. Carter of Johns Creek, Georgia, defrauded investors of Cobalt Sports Capital, LLC, an entity they formed to make loans to athletes and sports agencies. According to the SEC's order, rather than using investor proceeds to make loans to athletes, Tysdal and Carter diverted over $15 million to the cash-strapped startup portfolio companies of Impact Opportunities Fund, L.P., a private fund that Tysdal managed through his investment adviser Impact Opportunities Fund Management, LLC (IOFM) and concealed those loans from debt investors in Cobalt. Ultimately, each of the portfolio companies failed, resulting in significant losses to debt investors in Cobalt.
Second, the SEC order finds that Tysdal and IOFM defrauded the Impact Opportunities Fund and its investors by, among other things, charging the fund undisclosed monitoring fees, a portion of which went to Tysdal.
Third, the SEC order finds that Tysdal defrauded private fund TitleCard Capital 1Fund, L.P. and its investors through two advisers that he controlled, TitleCard Capital Management, LLC (TCCM) and TitleCard Capital Group, LLC (TCCG). According to the order, Tysdal and the two advisers breached the fund's concentration limits by causing the fund to purchase Cobalt from Impact Opportunities Fund at the end of 2015. The order finds that TCCG and Tysdal defrauded the fund and its investors by falsely valuing the fund's investment in Cobalt in reports to investors, effectively concealing the concentration limit breaches.
The SEC also announced settled charges against two other individuals, Britt J. Haugland and Michael A. DeJager, for their roles in Tysdal and Carter's fraudulent schemes. The SEC's order related to Haugland finds that she assisted Tysdal and Carter's scheme to divert investor funds from Cobalt to the portfolio companies, while the SEC order related to DeJager finds that he was a cause of TCCG's violations.
The SEC's orders find that Tysdal, TCCM, and TCCG willfully violated Sections 206(1) and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-8 thereunder, and that DeJager caused TCCG's violations of Section 206(4) and Rule 206(4)-8. The orders also find that Tysdal willfully violated, and Carter violated, Sections 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5(a) and 10b-5(c) thereunder, and that Haugland caused their violations of Section 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act. All of the respondents consented, without admitting or denying the facts of the SEC's orders, to the entry of cease-and-desist orders. Tysdal also consented to a three-year collateral associational bar and an investment company bar, and IOFM, TCCM, and TCCG consented to censures. The orders require Tysdal to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest totaling $843,099 and a civil penalty of $320,000, require Carter to pay a civil penalty of $160,000, and require Haugland and DeJager to each pay a civil penalty of $15,000.
The payment didn't end Tyler Tysdal's legal jeopardy, as evidenced by the grand jury indictment that came down a few months later. While the official document doesn't name victims, the Denver Post reported that it had obtained a leaked version listing three quarterbacks who gained fame playing for the University of Southern California: Carson Palmer, who also called signals for the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals during a fifteen-year NFL career, plus Matt Cassel and Mike Van Raaphorst. Overall, losses for 77 investors were estimated to have totaled around $46 million, including $2 million for Palmer, $1 million for Cassel and $100,000 for Raaphorst.
This case has made little progress in the past fourteen months — a common scenario, given pandemic-related delays for court systems in Colorado and around the country. But the novel coronavirus didn't prevent a grand jury from handing down three additional indictments in December.
Tyler Tysdal currently serves as co-founder and managing director of Freedom Factory; his online bio says he "helps fellow entrepreneurs throughout the United States sell their businesses for maximum value when they are ready to move on to their version of freedom in their life."
Natalie Tysdal declines to discuss her husband's situation. "My departure from KWGN/KDVR was based on my desire to have flexibility and to create my own podcast and YouTube content," she says. "I am grateful for the support of viewers and the digital community that have followed my journalism."
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