Bankrupt and beleaguered, Nashville Predators minority owner William (Boots) Del Biaggio III has another inquisitor to deal with - the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The U.S. agency has subpoenaed documents Del Biaggio gave to Nashville sports and civic officials relating to his 27-per-cent stake in the Predators.
The Metro Nashville Sports Authority and the Metro Nashville city council were subpoenaed on Wednesday by the FBI, which wants to examine all Del Biaggio documents amid allegations the California financier used falsified brokerage accounts to secure millions of dollars in loans.
It has been speculated Del Biaggio funded his estimated $60-million (all currency U.S.) share in the Predators through loans obtained by fraudulent means. Unquestionably, his dealings were varied and wide-ranging and usually ended with the same result.
Craig Leipold, who sold the Predators to a group of mostly local investors, is still owed $10-million by Del Biaggio, according to information made public last week when Del Biaggio filed for bankruptcy.
Also owed money ($7-million) is AEG Facilities Inc., a division of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Los Angeles Kings. AEG is believed to have entered into a loan agreement with Del Biaggio so he could buy into the Predators.
The FBI subpoenaed the Metro Sports Authority and city council since they operate as the landlord for the city-owned Sommet Center, the Predators' home arena. The Tennessean newspaper reported the FBI requested "all records pertaining to Del Biaggio's dealings with the city and the purchase of the team" along with anything that relates to his "finances and financial condition."
The Sports Authority will meet today to discuss Del Biaggio's bankruptcy and whether legal action can be taken against him.
When Del Biaggio filed for bankruptcy last week, his assets were frozen so that a court-appointed trustee could eventually sell them. The creditors have since asked that Todd Neilson be named the trustee.
Neilson is a high-profile California bankruptcy expert who sold Bruce McNall's share of the Kings when he went bankrupt 14 years ago.
Del Biaggio is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Securities and Exchange Commission. At one point, he had hoped to buy the Predators and eventually move them to Kansas City.