When the king fell

On December 14, 1994, owner of the Los Angeles Kings, Bruce McNall, pleaded guilty as the biggest case of bank fraud in recent history came to a close.

All McNall wanted was to walk with the stars and he took the gamble of getting caught in a lie when he saw the opportunity. McNall became full owner of the Kings in March of 1988 after slowly acquiring portions of the team over last year.

In 1989, The Sporting News and The Hockey News named him Executive of the Year. His efforts brought the team to their first ever Stanley Cup appearance in 1993.

The catch, McNall gave the team and his lenders promises of checks with no money to back them up. When he got caught the teams was forced into bankruptcy and were forced to sell Wayne Gretzky, they acquired the superstar because of McNall.

In the end McNall’s rich and powerful friends could not help him, and he was was sentenced to six years in prison. He had gone through numerous banks, both domestic and foreign to avoid getting caught. His scheme gave him VIP seating at exclusive clubs in L.A. The popularity was new to him and a large part of the reason that the addicting lie kept going. The Kings came down with him when the franchise was forced to declare bankruptcy. They lost Gretzky as well as other outstanding players because of the financial problems they ran into.

Related links:

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1997/02/17/222192/    The fall of Bruce McNall           http://kings.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=41051 L.A. Kings former owners                                                                               http://variety.com/2003/film/news/money-man-mcnall-gets-back-to-business-1117886291/ Money Man McNall

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