Former Iowa sports radio host pleads guilty in fraud case

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former Des Moines sports radio host accused of swindling at least eight people out of $1.5 million has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud.

Marty Tirrell, 60, entered the plea Friday in federal court, the Des Moines Register reported. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced on April 7.

Tirrell told investors he could buy sports tickets with their money, resell them, and split the profit with them, prosecutors said. To gain investors’ trust, Tirrell began by giving them back their invested money along with profits, as promised, as well as VIP access to sporting events. But Tirrell soon began lying to the victims and sending them bad checks while spending their money on personal items or to pay back other investors, officials said.

Tirrell had hosted talk shows for years and appeared on Mediacom’s local cable shows.