Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who gained fame as the underdog football player at the University of Notre Dame and inspired the 1993 movie "Rudy," was sued Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ruettiger and 12 others were charged with running a scheme to deceive investors into buying stock in Ruettiger's sports drink company.
The SEC lawsuit called it "a classic pump-and-dump scheme involving a penny stock called Rudy Nutrition" that occured between February and September 2008 and generated more than $11 million in illicit profits.
"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," SEC enforcement lawyer Scott Friestad said in a statement.
The company, which is no longer in business, provided false and misleading statements about the company to investors, the SEC said.
Ruettiger and 10 of the scheme's other participants have agreed to settle the SEC's charges without admitting or denying the allegations. Ruettiger agreed to pay $382,866 to settle the case.
In a review of the movie, The New York Times said the lead actor "doesn't soft-pedal his character's annoying obstinacy. He is not afraid of making Rudy a royal pain."