You know Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger as the guy who, with good old-fashioned hard work, overcame dyslexia and his small stature to play football for Notre Dame, and inspire this movie. But if you thought that was an uplifting tale, get ready for this: Ruettiger is now paying over $380,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle claims that, using a little ingenuity, he artificially inflated the stock value of Rudy Nutrition, his sports drink company, to something much, much bigger – $11 million in phony profits, to be exact!
That’s right: Rudy’s accused of running a pump-and-dump scheme, in which misleading information is used to increase the value of stock you own, which you then sell at an artificially high price (he himself didn’t confirm or deny his guilt). In so (allegedly) doing, Ruettiger showed that even if you stand only 5-foot-6, you can still falsely claim that your relatively unknown sports drink outsold industry giant Gatorade 2 to 1 in “a major southwest test.” He’ll never stop disproving doubters. Of course, though, no inspiring story happens in a vacuum, and Rudy had some help:
Ruettiger brought in an experienced penny stock promoter, Stephen DeCesare, who was his neighbor. DeCesare became the primary organizer of the stock scam, the SEC claims[.]
And now, DeCesare is a part of history. Of course, no great story comes without obstacles, and unfortunately, those SEC jerks are trying to keep Rudy down. Here’s what the associate director of the organization’s enforcement division, Scott Friestad, said in a statement:
“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. The tall tales in this elaborate scheme included phony taste tests and other false information.”
Jealousy at Rudy’s latest achievement – so sad. So transparent. Some people just can’t handle high achievers. But we can’t let Friestad get us down: we know the truth. “Tall tales”? Not only were his football accomplishments impressive, but he’s a gifted storyteller too?! This is a Renaissance man we’re dealing with, and, well, we’re getting choked up thinking about this guy all over again. Ru-dy…Ru-dy…Ru-dy…