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Report: Feds open SEC probe into Marlins’ stadium deal

Dec 2, 2011, 11:56 PM EDT

The stadium the Miami Marlins will be using begining with  the upcoming baseball season, is seen in this undated handout photograph provided by the team.

Heath Bell? Check. Jose Reyes? They’re still trying. C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle? Maybe. An investigation by the SEC? Safe to say that wasn’t on the Marlins’ wish list this offseason.

According to a report in the Miami Herald, federal authorities have opened a “wide-ranging investigation” into the Marlins’ ballpark deal with Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami. Specifically, the SEC is demanding financial information regarding nearly $500 million in bond sales and records of campaign contributions from the Marlins to local and state elected leaders.

The county and the city have until January 6 to fork over a host of documentation on the stadium deal, including minutes of meetings between government leaders and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and MLB commissioner Bud Selig and records of Marlins’ finances dating back to 2007.

The subpoenas focus heavily on the Marlins, requesting communications to and from team executives, documentation that might show the team’s ability to pay for or contribute to the financing of the stadium, and information on any meetings involving not only Loria and Selig, but also team President David Samson and former Major League Baseball president and chief operating officer Robert DuPuy. DuPuy was instrumental at the latter end of the hard-fought deal.

The new taxpayer-funded stadium, which is set to open next season, left the county and city on the hook for almost 80 percent of the $634 million price tag. This investigation comes just weeks after a report in the Miami Herald revealed that the stadium will cost taxpayers more money than originally pitched by politicians.

Marlins president David Samson told the Herald that the team has yet to receive a subpoena and merely said “Appreciate the info.” when asked to comment on the investigation.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    Many years later, as they stood before the firing squad, Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua were to remember that distant afternoon when their accountant first explained to them financial misrepresentation….

    • yankeesgameday - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:35 AM

      Just remember what happened to gadaffi…

      • cur68 - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:45 AM

        You trying to say the shooters will be wearing Yankee caps?

      • Old Gator - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:04 AM

        Yanqui….

        All of which notwithstanding, this couldn’t have come for a (take your pick) better/worse time for the Feesh, since it’s not going to be much of an enticement for any of the free agents they are supposedly “courting” to sign with a team that might be crippled by legal problems.

        MLB is just about finished pumping out the Dodgers cesspool, and now this….Consider that if Scrooge McLoria gets indicted (much less convicted) for illegal campaign contributions (who knew there was still such a thing?), what does Bud Light do about it? Suspend him as Steinbrenner was suspended? Force him to sell the team and go back to hawking Picassos at Christie’s? Could this get so badly septic that Scrooge has to sell the team? Boy, there’d be a lot of fin-wringing over that, wouldn’t there? But it’s safe to say that this comes at a pretty horrible time for Larry Beinfest, heading to the weenter meetings to prospect for free agents and trades just as it hits the fan.

        Of course, if the bright side of this is that a bunch of Macondo politicians get nailed to a hot tin rood over accepting illegal payments and/or deliberately misrepresenting the value behind the bonds, whoopeeeeee.

      • lyon810 - Dec 3, 2011 at 7:28 AM

        I’m sure there will be quite a few Expos caps along the firing line.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Dec 3, 2011 at 8:31 AM

      …but their accountants were Bialystock & Bloom.

      • Old Gator - Dec 3, 2011 at 10:32 AM

        ….except neither of them looked at the proposed logo and snorted, “naahhh, it’s too good.”

    • stex52 - Dec 3, 2011 at 11:58 AM

      But do they remember the taste of ice, or is only 100 years of losing baseball?

      • Old Gator - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:35 PM

        Sorry, this ain’t Chicago. This is Macondo.

      • stex52 - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        Perhaps, then, McLoria will be sentenced to 100 years in solitude.

  2. crisisjunky - Dec 3, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    The new dome may be impervious to rain,
    apparently though, not to windfall.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 3, 2011 at 7:42 AM

      Nicely done

  3. mondzy805 - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:05 AM

    Feds. No good. They must think the funding is coming from Drugs. No good, Miami.

  4. mattjg - Dec 3, 2011 at 8:02 AM

    The worst part of this whole stadium debacle is that I find myself on the same side as Norman Braman. You’d think skinflint owners would stick together. I guess the difference is that while Miami may have overpaid for the Marlins bonds, Braman gave Miami Keith Jackson and Keith Byers for nothing.

  5. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Dec 3, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    It sounds like the perfect environment for Pujols’ agent to work in.

  6. thegonz13 - Dec 3, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    Loria and Selig involved in something shady… who woulda thunk it???

  7. gvots - Dec 3, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    Shenanigans!

  8. henryd3rd - Dec 3, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Pay to play? I am shocked! Who would have thought that this could happened in this day and age? The possibilities of politicians and people with deep pockets doing something that might be considered underhanded. Come on man! This never happens?

    The saddest part about this entire story is that that new stadium doesn’t even guarantee that there will be fannies in the seats

  9. Chipmaker - Dec 3, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Miami has an international airport. Hmm, which nations do we not have a reciprocal extradition treaty with?

    • jwbiii - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      I hear that springtime in Rio is delightful.

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