Whatcha gonna do Zeus when mortgage fraud runs wild on you? Image via amazon.com
TMZ is reporting that Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr., best known to wrestling fans as, "Zeus", in the WWF back in 1989, has pleaded guilty to committing $3.8 million mortgage fraud:
According to the plea agreement -- obtained by TMZ -- Lister admitted to a diabolical scheme in which he and several individuals conspired to obtain four different mortgages on homes in L.A. using false information and bogus bank statements.
Lister admitted he and his co-conspirators collected mortgages worth $5.7 million -- and defaulted on all four ... costing the lenders $2.6 million.
He also admitted to withdrawing over $1.1 million in loans using the properties as collateral ... which he never paid back. All-in-all Lister has admitted to swindling banks out of $3.8 million.
Lister now faces up to five years in federal prison. He's due in court later this month (Sept. 2012).
These charges are somewhat similar but more serious than the ones UFC star, Chael Sonnen, pled guilty to in January, 2011. Sonnen escaped with two years probation, a $10,000 fine and forfeiture of his real estate license, but Lister might not be so lucky.
Lister was the muscular actor who the WWF chose to play monster heel, "Zeus", in their first ever film, No Holds Barred, recently released on DVD. The film was a vehicle for Hulk Hogan to get a starring role in a movie with an easy role for him to play, a wrestler called, "Rip", who has to take on the hired thug of an evil promoter. In order to promote the movie, "Zeus: The Human Wrecking Machine", was written in as a new character on WWF programming and proclaimed himself to have been the real star of No Holds Barred and planned to kick Hogan's butt "for real."
The movie may have flopped, but the SummerSlam 1989 main event of Hulk Hogan and Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Zeus was a huge success, drawing 625,000 buys on pay-per-view (PPV), setting a record for the event that stood until 1998. Given that Lister couldn't wrestle a lick, he dropped the ball at SummerSlam and only participated in a couple more matches for the WWF before heading back into acting.
That should have been the end of his wrestling career, but Hogan, looking to recreate his past success, brought him into WCW as, "Z-Gangsta", for an even shorter lived run. He was part of the eight man crew that Hogan and Savage defeated in the Doomsday Cage match at Uncensored 1996, which is still the most farcical PPV wrestling main event in history. Unsurprisingly, after that disaster he was never to be seen in WCW programming again.