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Hicks Misdirected Money From Texas Rangers, Administrator Claims

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Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Former Texas 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, according to a lawsuit by the team’s post-bankruptcy administrator.

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 could be worth $100 million or more, according to the complaint.

“The lawsuit reflects a bizarre flip-flop on the part of the complainants, a group led by a distressed debt hedge fund,” Lisa LeMaster, a spokeswoman for Hicks, said in a statement. “We welcome the opportunity to challenge these allegations in court.”

The case is Texas Rangers Baseball Partners v. Hicks, DC-11-10069, 116th Judicial District Court, Dallas County, Texas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Korosec in Dallas at korosec@sbcglobal.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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