June 9, 2012

Former World Series star pitcher Curt Schilling for the Boston Red Sox and others has just had his video game company going belly-up, leaving the taxpayers of Rhode Island to foot the bill after luring the company there from Massachusetts in 2010. It's unclear how Schilling managed to get tiny Rhode Island to agree to this scheme, though a poor economy there and his own political connections may have had a lot to do with this mess. Many of the officials responsible for the decision in Rhode Island have since resigned. The FBI are now looking into possible criminal wrongdoing.

Newsclip by WHDH, Boston.

(Associated Press) PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The federal and state probes into former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s video gaming company, which filed for bankruptcy protection this week, extend to all the firm’s financial transactions, the head of the Rhode Island state police said Friday.

Col. Steven O’Donnell said state police, the state attorney general, the U.S. attorney in Rhode Island and the FBI are conducting the investigation into 38 Studios. He didn’t elaborate.

The U.S. attorney’s office confirmed the investigation but would not provide details.

The Providence-based company, along with a sister operation in Baltimore, filed for bankruptcy Thursday in Delaware.

The parent firm owes US$150.7-million and listed its assets at US$21.7-million, according to court filings. 38 Studios Baltimore owes more than US$121.4-million and has assets of more than US$335,000, the filings show.

In both filings, the company lists its biggest liability as US$115.9-million in debt from bonds backed by the state, interest on the bonds and fees to Rhode Island.

Schilling, as majority owner of 38 Studios stands to lose everything he ever made in baseball, and is rightly getting excoriated in the New England media.

The company's misfortunes have opened Schilling to allegations of hypocrisy, given his conservative politics and his recent plea for millions of dollars more from the state to save the business. Schilling called for smaller government when he campaigned for Republicans such as George W. Bush, John McCain and Massachusetts Sen. Scott.

“Schilling spent no small amount of time in his career preaching the Republican mantra of smaller government and personal responsibility. He did this fresh off the historic Red Sox World Series win when he backed George W. Bush in the 2004 campaign. He did it on the stump on behalf of John McCain in 2008. Smaller government? Call me crazy, but I'm betting that wasn't exactly what Schilling was extolling when he sat behind closed doors ... pleading with the members of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. to put more public money behind his fantasy video game venture," wrote Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory.

"Apparently smaller government, in Schilling's world, applies to other people, maybe city kids stuck in underperforming schools or disabled adults looking for help back and forth to medical appointments."


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