Former Texas Rangers Owners Re-directed Millions from Franchise
August 17, 2011
A lawsuit by Texas Rangers post- bankruptcy administrator revealed former Rangers owner Tom Hicks misdirected “tens of millions” of dollars from the Major League Baseball franchise to buy and develop parking lots near the club’s ballpark.
Alan Jacobs, the administrator, said Hicks “embarked on a scheme to build a real estate empire on the backs of the Texas Rangers’ players and creditors and fans of the team,” according to a complaint filed yesterday in state court in Dallas.
Hicks owned the club from 1998 to the summer of 2010, when it filed for bankruptcy and was sold to a group led by Hall-of- Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. Hicks’s Ballpark Real Estate LP now generates several million dollars a year in parking revenue near the ballpark and the Dallas Cowboys football stadium, and is believed to be worth $100 million or more, according to the complaint.
Lisa LeMaster, a spokeswoman for Hicks, said in a statement: “The lawsuit reflects a bizarre flip-flop on the part of the complainants, a group led by a distressed debt hedge fund, we welcome the opportunity to challenge these allegations in court.”