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Bank forecloses on house of former Kings star Luc Robitaille

A failed business partnership with a since-jailed financier left Robitaille, a Hall of Famer, responsible for a $2-million line of credit. Robitaille is not expected to lose his house or his executive job with the Kings.

May 18, 2011|By Helene Elliott
  • Former Kings great and NHL Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille has declined to discuss specifics regarding a home he owns that is being foreclosed upon.
Former Kings great and NHL Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille has declined to discuss… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

The aftermath of a soured business partnership between Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille and jailed financier William "Boots" Del Biaggio III that left Robitaille responsible for a $2-million line of credit has led a bank to foreclose on the Santa Monica home owned by Robitaille, a longtime favorite of Kings fans and president of the club's business operations.

Robitaille, however, isn't expected to lose the home and won't lose his job while he settles his financial obligations.

"I have nothing to hide," Robitaille said Wednesday. He otherwise declined to comment on the foreclosure action, which was first reported Tuesday by TMZ.com. TMZ did not identify the bank.

Tim Leiweke, president of the Kings' parent company, AEG, said via email that AEG is working with Luc Robitaille and the former player's wife, Stacia.

"This issue," said Leiweke, "is short term, very fixable and will not have an impact on Luc's responsibilities with the L.A. Kings."

Robitaille and Del Biaggio were partners in purchasing the Omaha Lancers of the U.S. Hockey League and a petroleum company and planned to invest in real estate. Robitaille connected Del Biaggio with Leiweke, and Del Biaggio signed a contract to own and operate an NHL team in the AEG-operated arena in Kansas City, Mo. When Del Biaggio instead decided to become a minority owner of the Nashville Predators, he borrowed $7 million from AEG to close the purchase from then-Predators owner Craig Leipold.

Robitaille filed a lawsuit against Del Biaggio in 2008 alleging the former Silicon Valley investment guru misused a line of credit they had taken out in 2006 by transferring money into his own account instead of using it for real estate purchases. Del Biaggio pleaded guilty in 2009 to one charge of forging financial documents to obtain $110 million in loans. He was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for bilking investors and banks of millions of dollars and was ordered to pay a total of $47.5 million to eight banks, Leipold — now the majority owner of the Minnesota Wild — and AEG.

Robitaille, 45, also has a home in Utah and owns property in his native Montreal. He said an upcoming sale of his hockey memorabilia is not related to the foreclosure action and that proceeds will go to Echoes of Hope, a charity founded by Robitaille and his wife.

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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