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NHL Overtakes NFL- On One Level

Since the dawn of ESPN, the NHL has fought an uphill battle to assert itself as a big time sport. The league may be a long way away from overtaking the NFL in terms of ratings, but when it comes to fraud, the NHL can claim recent superiority. As Eugene Lockhart prepares to defend himself against allegations of involvement in a $20 million mortgage scheme, a former co-owner of the San Jose Sharks, William "Boots" Del Biaggio III, will be spending the next 8 years in a federal penalty box for defrauding an impressively diverse group to obtain $100 million in guaranteed loans. On Boots' hit list were the owners of the Minnesota Wild, LA Kings, a bank he co-founded with his father, and a broker with a 7-figure debt.

Del Biaggio set his crime in motion by turning to David Cacchione, a financially strapped stockbroker at Merriman Curhan Ford Group Inc. who owed him $2 million. According to federal prosecutors and the SEC, Cacchione e-mailed Del Biaggio account statements from several wealthy Merriman clients showing tens of millions of dollars worth of stock holdings...Del Biaggio then doctored the account statements by cutting out the clients' names and pasting in his own and presenting them to the banks and NHL owners as collateral.

Demonstrating that he is a former NHL owner and not a former NHL player, Boots let the waterworks flow yesterday during his sentencing and then channeled his inner Dick Fuld.

I was blinded by pride and ego," he said. "Everyone makes mistakes. I will come back from this and I refuse to let this define my life."

NHL owner gets 8 years prison for fraud scheme [Fox Sports]