DALLAS (AP/CBSDFW.COM) – Tom Hicks is being sued by a group of former investors in the Texas Rangers, saying he used the major league baseball club to enrich himself at the team’s expense while he was the owner.
In the suit filed Monday in state court in Dallas, attorneys for the Rangers partnership under bankruptcy administrator Alan Jacobs say Hicks ignored team obligations and bought land for parking lots and roads to build “a real estate empire on the backs of the Texas Rangers’ players and creditors and fans.”
The suit specifically mentions a Hicks-owned company, Ballpark Real Estate, “generates millions of dollars per year in parking revenue due to events being held at Cowboys Stadium nearby.”
The suit alleges the Rangers were left insolvent “without sufficient money to field a competitive baseball team,” saying “Among other things, the plaintiff says the defendant refused to comply with Major League Baseball’s mandate to set aside millions of dollars to cover the team’s deferred compensation obligations to players.”
The Rangers emerged from bankruptcy last August with new ownership after a highly publicized auction in a Fort Worth federal courtroom.
The new ownership group, Rangers Baseball Express, is not involved in the suit.
A spokeswoman for Hicks’ company called the allegations “absolutely untrue.”
The land in question was valued around $77 Million prior to last year’s auction. The court filings from Monday say the Ballpark Real Estate land “could be worth $100 Million.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)