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Curt Schilling’s company told employees it was selling their homes; didn’t

May 25, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

Curt Schilling Reuters

Not only did Curt Schilling’s company go belly-up and lay everyone off, it allegedly boned some of them via a relocation program that apparently didn’t do what it was supposed to do:

Some of the hundreds of 38 Studios employees laid off yesterday were hit with a second round of bad news this week when they were told by banks that homes they thought the company had sold for them hadn’t been and that they may be stuck with a second mortgage, Polygon has learned … One former employee said they discovered this week that their Massachusetts home, which they had been told was sold last year, actually hadn’t been. The bank contacted them this week to ask why they mortgage wasn’t being paid.

When stuff like this happens, investigators really start going over a company’s books. And when investigators start going over a company’s books, boy howdy do things get ugly. Because a lot of companies have fishy stuff on the books. If everything else is fine, no one ever knows.

But fired employees getting caught up in mortgages they thought their company disposed of?  Watch out.

  1. kmgannon - May 25, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I always thought Schilling was a pompous blowhard, but this story is getting more sordid by the day. If true, what a dirtbag this guy is.

    Also, is it just me, or has he been pretty scarce on the ESPN programs, like BBTN, lately? I can’t imagine the suits in Bristol being enthused about trotting him out on set to pontificate about baseball with all of this swirling around him….

    • dirtfrompeedysuniform - May 25, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      What a dick

      • chew1985 - May 25, 2012 at 8:01 PM

        Looks like Romney need look no further for a Vice Presidential running mate than “Ayn Rand” Schilling. Perfect pair. I’ll bet Schilling comes out of this with his personal fortune intact.

    • mlblogspauly - May 25, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      You hit the nail on the head. He is a pompous ass and a blowhard. I don’t know if he had any part in this but it doesn’t look kosher. Let’s hear what the jerk has to say.

    • marshmallowsnake - May 25, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      Next thing we know, this company will be found to have been a cover for money laundering.

      • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - May 25, 2012 at 8:53 PM

        That would be so awesome. Then let’s see how this holier than thou asshole talks his way out of this one. There will be people crawling all over each other to throw him under the bus. Somewhere Barry Bonds is rolling on the ground laughing.

      • vladirad - May 26, 2012 at 2:05 PM

        Curt Schilling is to video games as Walter White is to laser tag.

      • marshmallowsnake - May 29, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        LOL! Always nice to see a Breaking Bad reference. I just finished season 4, and I am depressed that season 5 is on Sundays at 10pm. I do not have cable, and that will be too late to bug friends that do 😦

    • jayquintana - May 25, 2012 at 7:53 PM

      I can’t believe I thought he was an honest guy. I always said, “sure, he’s a pompous horse’s rear end, but at least he comes across as honest and responsible.”

      • j0esixpack - May 26, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        To be sure, I’m not sure if he did anything “dishonest” other than happily – an somewhat hypocritically – accepting $75 million in taxpayer dollars invested in a company everyone with half a brain knew was high risk, and then quickly blowing through it and foundering as a business when the initial game did not sell as well as hoped.

        Curt did seemingly try to pull some dickish moves as all this was going down – trying to grab an additional $14 million in additional tax credits to stay afloat this week – but I think that was more a move to avoid default on the loan and allow himself to hold onto his intellectual property.

        Unfortunately, being the poor businessman he is, he failed to incorporate a sister company in RI and was thus ineligible for the additional tax money that might have – technically – allowed him some time to recoup HIS investment – by taking even MORE taxpayer dollars.

        It seems he was mad enough about the state blocking him on that, that he refused to notify them of the layoffs, perhaps out of spite.

        That final move instantly placed Shilling in default, regardless of the $1.2 million he paid last week to avoid being in default.

        Curt can’t be a happy camper – now I’m sure he’ll try to block the state from selling off the intellectual property they now own – which hopefully can result in some payback on a $75 million investment.

  2. trybe29dr - May 25, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    At least this will get him off tv

  3. yankeesgameday - May 25, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Ah, the private sector going about job creation at its finest. We obviously don’t need government regulations when we can trust the businessmen to run the country. I mean the worker is always the main focus, so let’s quit coming down on the “small” business owner because they know what is best.

    • nategearhart - May 25, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      Exactly. Those who are for corporate deregulation should keep in mind that most big business owners have a lot more experience being slimy dbags than Schilling does. They should also read The Jungle.

      • The Rabbit - May 25, 2012 at 7:30 PM

        People forget that we have regulations because everything was deregulated at one point in time and pretty much every major industry favored greed over everything else. After all, shareholder profit is the mission of corporations and the only thing that gets the Wall Street analysts aroused..
        Nothing’s changed in a hundred years.

    • Old Gator - May 25, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      Maybe Lenny ought to dust off that empty bunk underneath his and worry what life is going to be like with only one pillow.

  4. joshfrancis50 - May 25, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    If he’d have done all of this while wearing a bloody sock we’d all be praising how gutsy a businessman he is.

  5. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 25, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Wow, Curt makes me sick. My thoughts are with those impacted by his severe douchiness. I hope he manages to help these folks somehow – though of course I doubt it.

  6. buffalomafia - May 25, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Now does this mean he will cry on tv like T.O. & say he doesn’t have any money?

  7. kiwicricket - May 25, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Is it normal for state legislatures to meddle in the business of private equity and venture capital with taxpayer dollars? Slightly dubious is it not?

    Also…color me naive, but how does it take 300 people to make a video game???!

    • catsmeat - May 25, 2012 at 5:37 PM

      Not really all that abnormal — state and municipal or county governments routinely offer tax dollars as incentives to bring/retain business to a particular location. Now, whether that’s sound policy, well, that’s a whole other debate. But, no, it’s pretty normal.

      Love the handle, by the way. Beige Brigade member here.

      • kiwicricket - May 25, 2012 at 5:55 PM

        Thanks for clearing that up.
        Super effort that, of all the places to come across a cricket enthusiast.

      • catsmeat - May 25, 2012 at 11:40 PM

        Not just a cricket enthusiast, but a Black Caps supporter. We’re not exactly growing on trees, yeah?

      • samuellsamson - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        There are more cricket fans here than you’d think.

    • nategearhart - May 25, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      It’s very common. I live in Kansas City, and there’s a bit of a “border war” going on in the way of Missouri-side businesses moving to the Kansas side lured by the promise of big tax breaks. The biggest move is the most recent (that I know of): AMC Theaters is in the process of building a new headquarters in the suburbs on the Kansas side so they can move out of downtown Kansas City in Missouri.

      • kiwicricket - May 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        Thanks. It just sounds so bloody shady.
        I understand this sort of thing happens, probably quite often, but ‘free lunches” are swaying a few more decisions that it should, no doubt.

    • snowbirdgothic - May 25, 2012 at 6:20 PM

      Speaking as a professional game developer, I can assure you that it takes a lot of people to make a AAA video game. MMOs in particular are content-intensive, which is a nice way of saying that you have to make a hell of a lot of stuff to fill the world with. So, 288 people at a studio including support staff is not at all unreasonable.

      • kiwicricket - May 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM

        Thanks. I was being genuine, when I was asking that. I had no idea.

      • snowbirdgothic - May 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM

        Always my pleasure to clarify stuff like that. I’ve worked on teams that ranged in size from a dozen to, well, really, really large. It’s an interesting business, and there’s a lot that goes into making games that the general public doesn’t see or doesn’t get.

      • samuellsamson - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        It seems there’s more that goes into making video games than Curt Schilling realised, too.

  8. schmedley69 - May 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    He can room with Dykstra in prison.

  9. brewcrewfan54 - May 25, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Schilling’s name is all over this but I wonder how much he actually has to do with the day to day operations of this company.

    • sabatimus - May 25, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      I’m sure they’ll scrutinize the hell out of that one, given this story and the fact of their $75 MILLION loan from the state of Rhode Island. Someone’s going to prison for this.

  10. hiltonandastoria - May 25, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    WTB more “boy howdy” in articles posted on HBT

  11. ezthinking - May 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    The best part would be if they can show Schilling was taking a big salary while welshing on his employees. Purposeful undercapitalization might get into his personal wealth to pay back all those screwed by his actions.

  12. kiwicricket - May 25, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    “I need you to know I’ve invested a significant amount of my life’s earnings in 38 Studios,” Schilling, who did not respond to a request to be interviewed for this article, said at a news conference after the state approved the deal. “I will protect the loan guarantee that’s been given by the state with the same passion and interest that I’m protecting my own investment in this company. Our paths are very much aligned.”

    Curt Schilling – July 2010

    We shall see Curt. We shall see.

  13. hiltonandastoria - May 25, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    And this is what happens when someone figures they can compete with World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. Just ask EA and Bioware and their 200+ million failure that is Star Wars the Old Republic.

    Honestly, Shilling started playing WoW hardcore years ago on his Orc Hunter after playing Shaman for awhile. He realised how addicting MMO’s can be, and figured he would just jump into the business and make even more money.

    So in World of Warcraft lingo.

    Epic Fail Newb you got Pwned

    • erocknrolla - May 25, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      How is creating a single player game competing with mmos?


      All companies have to start somewhere. And your attitide is counterintuitive of some of the highest sellers according to steam, most of which are indie single player games. Remember dungeon defenders?

      Think before you type.

      The mmo 38 studios was making is shelved. All they released was a single player game in reckoning.

      • erocknrolla - May 25, 2012 at 8:29 PM

        Also the biggest and most popular online game right now League of legends ( which surpassed WOW in terms of subscribers played this year iirc) Started as just a couple of indie developers with an idea.

      • hiltonandastoria - May 25, 2012 at 9:27 PM

        They tried and failed with their whole reason for being in business, a MMO. And Settled, for a single player.

        He jumped into a business he knew nothing about and his results are less than shocking.

        Actual game makers can have successes, some guy who pitched for the Sox and loved slaying Murlocks, not so much.

        The proof is in his embarrassing puddling

      • hiltonandastoria - May 25, 2012 at 9:36 PM

        Did you seriously just suggest that Shilling was going to come up with someone as popular as LOL?

        Since Riot games had people from Warcraft 3 develop the game LOL and it was a Hit, of course Shilling can do the same. Anybody with the urge and idea can reach such heights no doubt.

        Yup a couple of Indie developers…bunch of nobodies
        Seriously, this is foolishness.

        LOL was a legit game created by legit people who had legit successes in the field and genre

      • snowbirdgothic - May 25, 2012 at 11:07 PM

        It’s a little more complicated than that.

        An MMO is generally a five year project, give or take. It makes perfect sense to something else along the way in the interest of cash flow.

  14. 12strikes - May 25, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Nice.. Looks like Curt Schilling can keep John Edwards company for the next 10 years in the slammer.

  15. deathmonkey41 - May 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    He played for the Red Sox- what do you expect?

  16. sincitybonobo - May 25, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    This should be a tipping point for ESPN. Obviously, Schilling’s time needs to be spent elsewhere than the BBTN set. The unfortunate thing is that unless the state can prove fraud or malfeasance, he’s probably shielded legally from paying any of this money back. If he had an ounce of decency, he would write a personal check with six or seven zeroes to the Rhode Island treasury. Let’s give credit to Massachusetts for not attempting a race to the bottom in order to keep 38 Studios in the state before RI offered this ridiculous package to lure a company with no track record of success. $75 million in load guarantees is an insanely high number for a small state like Rhode Island. Whatever an audit finds, the results should be fascinating.

  17. xmatt0926x - May 25, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Just want to throw my two cents in. I’ve been back and forth on Schilling as a fan of a team he played for, but also seeing his grating media attention needing personality. Liked him as a fan but I could see why some of his teammates seemed to despise him. Then you have his political side which is good or bad depending on what side you’re on. All of those polarizing things aside, some things are either just good or bad and when they are bad there is no defense. Yes, companies fail all the time and these people get funds from this place or that and the people doing the funding end up with most of the shaft up their ass. I get that so I won’t burn Schilling so much on that. But to me, the way this seems to have been handled as far as the employees who lost their jobs is what cannot be defended. From the stories I have read this whole process of how these people are finding out how bad things really are has been disgraceful and it can’t just be written of as “ohh well, that’s how it goes in big business”. No. You don’t have laid off employees find out from a bank that they now have a second mortgage because you lied to them and told them you sold their house when you didn’t. You don’t have a pregnant employee find out that she doesn’t have medical insurance any longer by way of the doctors office calling her at home and telling her she has no insurance because the company cancelled it (read about this in different story). I may be wrong but I just sense that a couple posters were kind of letting Schilling off the hook by writing it all off to “this happens all the time”. Sorry. If you have a certain level of integrity or character then you do the right thing in these matters. Yeah, he can’t save their jobs but does that mean you have to go about the end in such a classless way? I’m not on the fence with Schilling anymore. He’s a classless piece of dog s**t.

  18. jrh1194 - May 25, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Schilling is garbage for treating his employees like that. Hopefully he will end up in prison when the investigators get done. Maybe he can put some ketchup on his socks.

  19. erocknrolla - May 25, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Does everyone really think schilling was the immediate person responsible for this?

    Hes the face and an investor i doubt he made these decisions themselves yet he seems to be crucified because out of all the bigwigs at 38 studios hes the only one anyone knows who is.

    • jayquintana - May 25, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Er, do you know WHY it’s named 38 Studios? When things were going good, Schilling had no problem hog cheesing all the attention.

      Turnabout’s fair play. But… where is he? Why isn’t he publicly addressing this?

      • erocknrolla - May 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

        i already said he was taking attention

        read my comments “Hes the face”

        I never said he wasnt taking attention.

        Now answer my question. Do you really think Curt was the one actually making all these day to day decisions?

        Hes just another rich celebrity who invested in a business that failed. and because hes the public name/face hes gettin crucified for it.

      • wretchu - May 29, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        He’s not “just an investor”. He’s not “just the face.” He’s the founder and chairman. And even if you do subscribe to the belief that those titles were in name only, he’s still one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – investors in the company. (As stated earlier, he has said he’s invested a significant portion of his lifetime earnings in the company.) Even if he didn’t directly sign off on these tactics, he’s signing the checks. He is also responsible for the people he puts in charge of the day-to-day operations. He is still very much at faultfor what happens within the company. Quit defending him; he’s just as much to blame for what happened as anyone else in the management team.

      • samuellsamson - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        Looks like the good taxpayers of Rhode Island might have been the biggest investors in Schilling’s business. Even though nobody asked them.

  20. phillyphan83 - May 25, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    This guy is such a loser and most of us cringe(or puke) every time he opens his mouth. Makes me embarrassed that he played in Philadelphia. Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut and paid more attention to his company and not what current players and teams were doing. Idiot.

  21. sincitybonobo - May 25, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    On the next episode of “American Greed”….

  22. prrbrr - May 25, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Way to go Curt….

  23. jayquintana - May 25, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Curt’s going to find out the hard way that “Chapter” and “Eleven” aren’t dancers in NYC.

  24. erk877 - May 26, 2012 at 3:11 AM

  25. mcqphx - May 26, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    The company could have been saved if only he had rendered the elves a different color.

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