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MLB claims Frank McCourt looted $189M from Dodgers

This is an oct. 7, 2009, file photo showing Los Angeles Dodgers' owner Frank McCourt before Game 1 of the National League division baseball series with the St. Louis Cardinals, in Los Angeles. (Jae C. Hong)

October 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Major League Baseball claims Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt looted $189 million from the team, according to court documents.

In a series of bankruptcy court filings, the league said McCourt siphoned $73 million in parking revenue through a private company.

They also claim he used $61 million in team revenue to pay off personal debts and took another $55 million for personal distribution.

In the court documents, MLB claims McCourt has no earnings outside of the team to support his eight homes and looted "the Dodgers' assets to fund his lavish lifestyle."

"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 league said.

MLB said inadequate security at Dodger Stadium caused irreparable damage to the team, citing the beating case of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow.

"Major League Baseball is trying to use the case to say this shows us that the ownership is putting its interest ahead of the fans and the team," said law expert Robert Rasmussen, dean of the USC Gould School of Law.

The league also claims McCourt broke 10 league rules, any of them grounds for terminating his franchise. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig wants to oust McCourt.

McCourt denies the charges.

"Once again, MLB has mischaracterized the facts with inflammatory allegations that are not supported by the evidence," the Dodgers said in a statement. "As the Commissioner knows and as our legal documents have clearly shown, he approved and praised the structure of the team about which he belatedly complains. We look forward to the opportunity to show the truth next week in court."

Dodgers season ticket holders now have an official voice in the bankruptcy case, winning two seats on the team's creditors committee.

Attorneys argued in the motion that season ticket holders had invested millions of dollars in the team and deserved an official voice in the bankruptcy

A hearing is set for next week in a Delaware courtroom

The Associated Press contributed to this report.