By Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) – Federal prosecutors in Denver have arrested Greenwood Village businessman Dan Rudden a week after he confessed to a massive Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of what Rudden estimates was $55 million.

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CBS4’s Brian Maass interviews Dan Rudden by phone. (credit: CBS)

“I’m ashamed of what I’ve done,” Rudden told his investors.

Rudden is charged with one count of wire fraud. He was advised of the criminal charge during a brief appearance in federal court. He turned himself in Tuesday morning. Rudden appeared in court in a pink polo shirt, khakis and in handcuffs.

Last week, Rudden told CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass, “It’s a bad deal, as bad as you could ever dream up.”

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(credit: CBS)

He said his company, Financial Visions, which started in 2000, was a thriving business for 10 or 11 years. He said since then, it morphed into a Ponzi scheme with Rudden using principal from new investors to pay interest to old investors. The business provided funeral funding services to about 600 funeral homes and cemeteries across the country.

“The point is once a Ponzi starts, it’s like a freight train out of control. The addiction became money,” said Rudden.

(credit: CBS)

During a 30 minute interview, Rudden said he had been driving around the country for three weeks trying to figure out what to do. He decided to return to Colorado and turn himself into law enforcement authorities.

A federal magistrate said Rudden qualified for a court-appointed attorney. A government prosecutor said in court, prosecutors were not seeking detention for Rudden. He was scheduled to be released from federal custody Tuesday afternoon and his next court date is Aug. 6.

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CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.