(CBS) David Staral Jr. was unveiled as the new owner of the Rush in February, but his reign may soon be over.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Staral has a long history of financial trouble and Rush vendors are now complaining about unpaid debts. The report also says the team can’t reach Staral right now.
“People stopped hearing from him,” a source told the newspaper. “He vanished. He just vanished.”
The owner wasn’t present at the team’s 72-41 home loss to the Philadelphia Soul on Saturday, which was played without instant replay because the video production company wasn’t paid.
According to the report, the Arena League took over the team on an emergency basis before the game because Staral defaulted on his financial obligations to Allstate Arena.
The situation also raises a red flag for the league, as Staral’s long history of financial issues are well documented, but were apparently ignored when the league approved his ownership of the Rush. The Sun-Times reports Staral filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January, just one month before taking over the Rush.
In fact, the owner is a three-time convicted felon after being found guilty of state benefits fraud in 2005 and pleading guilty to two other embezzlement scams after he stole money from his former employer, International Sports Management, in 2007.
Staral was sentenced to four years probation in 2011, a sentence he’s currently serving.
This is just the latest ownership problem for the Rush, whose previous owner, Julee B. White, only lasted three months before the Arena Football League terminated the deal.
The Sun-Times now reports the league is now trying to end its relationship with Staral.