Sports Outside the Beltway

Nashville Predators owner gets more than 8 years in prison

William Del Biaggio III defrauded investors and banks in part in order to buy the team. From AP-

A federal judge has sentenced a Silicon Valley financier to more than 8 years in prison for bilking banks and investors out of millions of dollars in an attempt to buy a pro hockey team and finance a lavish lifestyle.

William “Boots” Del Biaggio III was sentenced Tuesday in San Francisco. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to a felony charge of forging financial documents to obtain $110 million in loans from several banks and two NHL owners.

He used the money to buy an interest in the NHL’s Nashville Predators and to pay personal expenses that included $4 million in gambling debts.

The judge also ordered him to pay more than $67.4 million in restitution. His interest in the hockey team will be sold and the proceeds distributed to his victims.

Are the Predators worth 67 million? They have been a mediocre NHL franchise at best that has been rumored in the not too distant past to be moving out of Tennessee. Yes, they’re probably worth enough to make restitution for Mr. Del Biaggio but now NHL owners are probably getting migraines as they face yet another franchise with ownership problems. The mess in Phoenix is still ongoing.

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