As he stood before a crowd of cheering fans in a Maryland gym, Tim Krieger knew his glory days as one of America’s top amateur wrestlers were nearing the end.
It was 1987, and Krieger had just completed an undefeated season and won the first of his two national titles. With sweat dripping off his Iowa State wrestling singlet, he wondered if anything could top this.
“When I won, I thought, ‘What is it going to be like when I can’t feel like this anymore?’ ” Krieger later told reporters.
Krieger delayed that painful moment for more than two decades, as he found new foes to conquer in the high-stakes world of commodities trading. In some years he made as much money as top executives at Minnesota’s biggest companies by wagering in the arcane world of electricity futures.
But he could not stay on top forever. Krieger’s latest Minneapolis-based company, Aspirity Energy, filed for bankruptcy on June 30. In court, he said he faces “financial ruin.”
Now Krieger is in the middle of a legal fight over what went wrong. Former employees are angry that he received at least $18 million from his failing business before firing his workers and closing the doors. Todd McRae, a former risk analyst for Krieger’s company, has complained to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that his former boss committed fraud when he shifted millions of dollars in assets out of the business, leaving it incapable of meeting its obligations.
Krieger graduated from Mason City High School in 1984, and was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. The Globe Gazette named him its Athlete of the Century in 2000, based on his remarkable prep and collegiate wrestling career.
Read the rest of this story at startribune.com or Wednesday's print or e-edition of the Globe Gazette.