Former Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and the current regime led by Derek Jeter are being sued by Miami-Dade county over an on-going profit-sharing dispute, the Miami Herald reported on Friday.
According to Miami-Dade commissioner Joe Martinez, the county is suing both Loria and the current Marlins ownership over a 2009 profit-sharing deal that gave the county and the city of Miami a five-percent share of any profits made if the team were sold within ten years. With the Marlins sale being finalized in October 2017, the county was expecting its cut of the $1.2 billion Jeter’s group agreed to pay for the franchise.
Loria, who bought the Marlins for $158 million in 2002, searched for any loophole that would allow him to get out from under payment owed to the county. On Feb. 2, it was reported that he was not expected to give up any of the revenues from the sale. That forced the county’s hand and now leads us to yet another Loria court battle.
Loria sold the team to Jeter and partners for $1.2 billion last fall, but recently claimed a paper loss on the transaction. The county deal allowed Loria to deduct a significant chunk of expenses from the profit calculation. That included capital gains tax on profit from the deal, and a $30 million from a financial firm working for him.
The county released the litigation Friday evening. It lists both the Miami Marlins, a Loria entity, and Marlins TeamCo (a Jeter entity) as defendants. It slams Loria’s claim of a loss as “fuzzy math.”
And so Loria’s swindling ways continue to impact the Marlins even months after he’s gone.
The profit-sharing agreement in question was agreed to during negotiations with Miami-Dade county and the city of Miami over funding for Marlins Park. Loria eventually talked the county and city into paying the majority of the $515 million costs to build the mammoth stadium. There’s some debate over whether that deal was signed and sealed in 2008 or 2009, but either would easily put the 2017 sale within the 10-year window.
Now it will be up to a judge to determine if Loria has authored another financial escape, or if he’ll finally be forced to pay back what will ultimately be just a drop in the bucket compared to what most believe he owes Miami-Dade county.
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