BRUCE McNALL TO PLEAD GUILY TO FELONY CHARGES
L.A. King President BRUCE McNALL was formally charged
yesterday with defrauding six banks of more than $236M over 10-
years in a "long-awaited plea agreement with federal prosecutors,
the culmination of a dizzying collapse that is virtually
unprecedented in the sports business." The 4-count criminal
information consists of two counts of bank fraud, one count of
conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. According to his
attorney, McNall plans to "formally plead guilty to all counts."
The charges also allege for the first time that McNall and his
execs in one deal "took advantage of Kings superstar WAYNE
GRETZKY. According to the charges, McNall improperly pledged
their horse "Honor Grades" to Union Bank as collateral for an
$850,000 loan without telling Gretzky, representing to the bank
that the horse was 100% owned by McNall's Summa Stables. McNall
was expected as early as today to give up his "high-profile"
title of president of the Kings, although he will continue to
work for the team and draw a 6-figure salary through 2001 (Bates
& Dillman, L.A. TIMES, 11/15). A conviction could bring up to 45
years in prison (AP/TORONTO STAR, 11/15).