Marty Tirrell Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud, Faces Up to 20 Years in Prison

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Former Des Moines sports radio host Marty Tirrell could spend up to 20 years in prison after agreeing to plead guilty to mail fraud in federal court.

On Wednesday, Tirrell agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors in Des Moines before his case went to trial.  Tirrell is agreeing to plead guilty to a single count of mail fraud.  Nine other counts in his indictment would be dropped by prosecutors.

Tirrell is accused of defrauding investors out of more than $1 million in a ticket brokering scheme.  Tirrell promised his victims massive returns on investment to fund his ticket re-sale business.  Tirrell would "hook" investors with quick returns on initial investments.  He would subsequently defraud them by offering little or no return on future investments.  He is accused of other fraudulent activity in the venture as well, including "check kiting" and filing false fraud claims.

Tirrell could face up to 20 years in prison if the plea deal is accepted.  Prosecutors are asking a judge for some leniency in sentencing.  The final decision on the length of the sentence is solely at the judge's discretion.  He could face up to $250,000 in fines.

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