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MCNALL PLEADS GUILTY, FACES THREE TO NINE YEARS IN PRISON
Published December 15, 1994
Former L.A. Kings majority owner Bruce McNall pleaded guilty to four criminal counts stemming from a federal bank fraud investigation. Charges included "creating phony financial statements for lenders as early as 1984, supplying fake coin inventories to secure loans, diverting millions from a Merrill Lynch coin fund and King ticket proceeds and even listing dead horses as collateral. Allegations also include improperly pledging a horse he owned with [Wayne] Gretzky to a bank without telling the Kings superstar." Although McNall faces a maximum of 45 years, sources say his sentence will most likely be three to nine years. As expected, McNall officially gave up his title as Kings president, but will serve as a consultant to the team. His $650,000 salary will be trimmed to $487,500. McNall "technically remains a minority owner in the club, although his 28% stake is now under the control of the trustee in his U.S. Bankruptcy Court case and is expected to be eventually sold" (Bates & Dillman, L.A. TIMES, 12/15). In L.A., Helene Elliott writes, "We probably should have seen this coming. We didn't want to look. And the NHL, before the Gary Bettman regime, was too busy to look because it was counting the money King merchandising brought in" (L.A. TIMES, 12/15).