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Blog Entry

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: October 25, 2011 1:03 pm
 
McCourt

By Evan Brunell


In several filings by MLB on Monday, baseball has accused Dodgers owner Frank McCourt of "looting" the team for $190 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The exact price is $189.16 million, with $61.16 million in team revenue to pay off personal debts, $73 million sent to McCourt by way of Blue Land Co. for parking revenue, and $55 million for personal distributions. This is against baseball rules, but McCourt is no stranger to breaking rules as MLB alleges he has broken 10 rules.

"The Dodgers are in bankruptcy because McCourt has taken almost $190 million out of the club and has completely alienated the Dodgers' fan base," the filing reads. However, McCourt fired back by painting Selig as a "'furious' commissioner out to harm" McCourt, the MLB filing reads. McCourt's lawyers say that Selig is dealing in bad faith by refusing to consider any television deal for McCourt, believing that some of its funds would be diverted yet again to pay off personal obligations, such as $130 million to ex-wife Jamie in settling her contention she is co-owner of the Dodgers. (McCourt calls this claim "make-believe," but how can McCourt pay off his ex-wife without funds from the television deal?)

The beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow is expected to be a central component of the bankruptcy trial, as filings by both MLB and McCourt on Monday referenced the brutal beating on Opening Day. Stow spent the season in the hospital and was only recently released to outpatient rehab, with medical bills that could surpass $50 million. In the wake of the beating, in which no security guards intervened and fans watched, the Dodgers added LAPD officers to games and hired ex-LAPD chief William Bratton to supervise a long-range plan. Despite having a record 197 sworn police officers on hand -- "the highest number ever at a Dodgers game," the team alleges, MLB contends that security at Dodger Stadium was so inadequate, and it speaks to McCourt's failings. To no surprise, he disagrees.

"[Commissioner Bud Selig] set about fabricating the public misimpression that security at Dodger Stadium was somehow inadequate," the team's filing says, also noting that McCourt was the first Dodgers owner to hire uniformed LAPD officers. "This is, by far, the most unforgivable action taken by the commissioner during this entire saga, and has caused enorrmous and irreparable harm to the Dodgers, Mr. McCourt and the game of baseball."

The filing says the Dodgers "were on top of the situation" and that Selig only announced a task force to review Dodger Stadium security until after McCourt had taken his own steps to address the security problem at the stadium. MLB, naturally, disagrees.

"McCourt, however, omits the fact that he removed uniformed officers before the 2011 season, including the opening game when Stow was so seriously injured," MLB says in its filing, also accusing McCourt of inadequate lighting in stadium parking lots, a lack of executives with knowledge of ballpark operations and security, as well as the ability to easily slip into the stadium without authorized access.

In April, when Selig appointed the task force to look at Dodger security and also appointed a trustee to review L.A.'s policies and finances, the team says that was a crushing blow for the club, who immediately saw a downtick in attendance and finished the season 18 percent under.

"Not surprisingly, the commissioner's one-two punch ... was followed by a dramatic reduction in attendance at Dodger games," the Dodgers' filing reads. "That drop in attendance reduced revenues and, of course, worsened [the Dodgers'] already difficult liquidity situation."

One thing's clear: each side really, really dislikes the other. It's still unclear when a resolution is pending, but the filings were a major step forward in the case and will be used during a hearing next week that could determine the outcome of the case. The Dodgers are asking for a delay until April 25 to present their reorganization plan, which could leave McCourt in charge of the club through the beginning of the 2012 season.

Can't get enough of the Dodger Divorce saga and the troubles surrounding Dodgers owner Frank McCourt? Click here.

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Comments

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: October 26, 2011 1:30 pm
 

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

Most important is that Manny got paid and Jamie receives 3 million a year for shopping sprees and cometic surgery, while the stadium concessaires checks bounce. You really can't make this stuff up. How else can one buy a baseball franchise with only 29 million of their own money and leverage ever other conceivable equity asset. Excellent job Frank.......you've lowered Dodger baseball standards to depths of disgust never imagined.



Since: Feb 23, 2008
Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:38 am
 

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

Was getting some of your points of view until you said "The ballpark is gorgeous".  You can't be serious.   Dirtiest park I have ever been to.   McCourt couldn't even afford a coat of paint?   <br /><br />The beating was terrible and certainly overblown as far as responsibility goes but that is not the primary reason why attendence is down in my opinion.  Fans do not like McCourt.  McCourt is not showing that he is a dedicated owner.  They are sick of all the nonsense.  They are simply boycotting regardless of intention.   Even diehard fans are going to fewer games simply because a little of the zeal is gone.  Hate on Selig all you want but that is not who the fans want out of there. It is McCourt.  Dodger fans will do cartwheels if that day ever comes.  Even as a Giants fan I cannot wish them any further misery. They have suffered long enough.<br /><br />By the way, McCourt shouldn't be needing future earnings (TV Deal) to make this years payroll.  If he really did improve the teams value then why is he in this mess. Clearly that value has been sqaundered and borrowed upon.  His team, his right?  Yeah but the people that support the team are boycotting due to the owners actions, ethics etc...  Just because you are King today doesn't mean you will be tomorrow.  Everyone is accountable.<br /><br />Can't believe anyone is sticking up for McCourt. Wierd! 




Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 12:36 am
 

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

Although not illegal taking profits from ones own company, if this was run as a department store, the receivers would have been called in a long time ago.

Unfortunately, the players and fans have been let down, especially in the safety aspect while attending games.

The real reason the attendance may have fallen is partly down to the safety aspect after the tragic and preventable beating of the Giants fan because as the report states "McCourt, however, omits the fact that he removed uniformed officers before the 2011 season, including the opening game when Stow was so seriously injured," so surely that makes him personally liable for costs incurred on the costs of treatment and long term looking after of Bryan Stow.

McCourt appears to not only looking after his own personal interests, he is neglecting the fans safety and future of a successful long term future of a franchise he appears to be trying to dismantle.

The fans deserve better treatment than this, but Selig is no angel and the first sniff of any trouble should have seen MLB freeze all the Dodgers assets before things got to this point.

In my opinion nobody comes out with any credibility least of all MLB and Selig. McCourt has in theory used the Dodgers to bail himself out of personal money issues which is wrong and that is why I feel he has 'looted' or 'stolen' money out of the Dodgers. 




Since: May 13, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 12:13 am
 

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

He's taking revenues from the club, not "profits." He can do what he wants with profits, but he can't divert revenue streams to his own pockets.



Since: May 17, 2009
Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:56 pm
 

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

There is a simple word for it.  It is called "embezzlement" and it is a crime.  McCourt is criminal, pure and simple.  End of story.  Arrest him and prosecute him, and get the Dodgers out of his hands.  NOW!



Since: Nov 15, 2010
Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:48 pm
 

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

Just spent three days in the hospital for something far less serious and labor intensive, and the bill for the insurance company was 12.5k. You really don't have a clue.



Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:29 pm
 

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

Lumpoco wrote:

McCourt owns the Dodgers. If McCourt took money from the team then what is the big deal? It is not illegal to take profits from properties that one owns. Now if McCourt had took money from the Cubs or Red Sox...teams that he does not own then it would be reasonable to conclude that he stole from MLB. But that's not case here. It's very disheartening that a majority of Americans failed to take or pass a logic course when they were going to school.

In actuality, Frank McCourt taking money out of the Dodgers is like taking money from the Red Sox, Cubs or any other team.  Baseball is not a traditional free-market type of business.  It falls under federal anti-trust exemptions which means, the profits and finances of one team are subject to other members of the trust.  Pro baseball relies heavily on the financial stability of all 30 teams which makes their finances subject to heavier oversight.  Ordinarily I might not have a problem with an owner for taking profits out of the team, but McCourt committed one of the worst mistakes an owner of any business can commit.  He took out so much money from his business that he was unable to make payroll.  If he was not part of a trust like MLB that was able to step in and help the Dodgers make payroll, McCourt could have been sued and brought up on Embezzlement charges. 



Since: Jul 23, 2011
Posted on: October 25, 2011 9:52 pm
 

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

Frank McCourt is that rare scum bag big businessman who appears to be caught in his duplicity.  Baseball is too public to get away with his kind of shenanigans.  That he brought disgrace to the Dodgers, far from my favorite team but nonetheless one of the prouder, more distinguished clubs in the history of the game is sad.  Why MLB allowed him in as an owner is a question that should be asked.  One did not need to be too discerning to realize that McCourt and his wife were lacking in class and baseball acumen.  Shallow they did well.  Headline grabbing they could teach a seminar. In being competent baseball owners they fell woefully short and alas that was the role they somehow were allowed to cast themselves in much to the dismay of Dodger fans.  



Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2011 9:34 pm
 

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

Mr. Stow's medical expenses will not exceed  $50 million.  That's just an absurd number his lawyers came up with so they could get a larger payout in their suit against the Dodgers.  I mean how in the world could Bryan Stow's medical bills possibly "surpass $50 million"???  The attack took place around 200 days ago.  Take 50 million and divide by 200 and you get $250K.  So the average day's medical bill for Mr Stow is $250K.  If true, this speaks volumes for what's wrong with healthcare in this country.  I suppose the $50 million could counted towards Bryan Stow's medical bills now and the rest of his life.  OK.  Let's say the 42 year lives another 50 years.  That's $1 million per year (around $3,000 A DAY, EVERYDAY) in medical bills.  Yeah right!  Mr. Stow's medical expenses since the attack and for the rest of his life should never exceed a $3 million.



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2011 9:23 pm
 

MLB says McCourt 'looted' $190M from Dodgers

McCourt owns the Dodgers. If McCourt took money from the team then what is the big deal? It is not illegal to take profits from properties that one owns. Now if McCourt had took money from the Cubs or Red Sox...teams that he does not own then it would be reasonable to conclude that he stole from MLB. But that's not case here. It's very disheartening that a majority of Americans failed to take or pass a logic course when they were going to school. 


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