When the Scene
about the new Preds deal, we were a bit dubious about California venture capitalist William “Boots” Del Biaggio. After all, the man who was slated to own more than 30 percent of the Preds already had an agreement to bring an NHL team to Kansas City.
But The Tennesseean
dubbed him a “hero” for saving a deal that was quickly going the way of the dumpster, and a few anonymous commenters on this blog told a certain Scene
reporter to shut up and perform a certain sexual act in lieu of critiquing the deal—and the seemingly shady Del Biaggio.
We hate to say, “We told you so,” but it seems that a certain California hero has run into a little trouble with the feds. From a story
in San Jose's The Mercury News
Federal investigators are probing the business dealings of San Jose socialite and investor William "Boots" Del Biaggio III, the Mercury News has learned.
Del Biaggio announced his departure Monday from Sand Hill Capital, a firm he co-founded in 1997. Sand Hill, a boutique lender to startups, issued a terse press release saying he was leaving the company "for personal reasons."
The 40-year-old financier was until recently a minority investor in the the San Jose Sharks hockey team and is now a part owner of the Nashville Predators.... Sources familiar with the investigation said federal authorities were looking at loans Del Biaggio obtained in the course of a broader examination of his financial dealings.
Rest assured, the Preds folks say there's no need to fret. From a statement issued this morning: “His departure from Sand Hill Capital has no impact on the Predators organizational operations as we are focused on ticket sales, building long-term business partnerships in middle Tennessee and improving our team for the 2008-09 season, beginning with the 2008 NHL Entry Draft just three weeks away.’’
But last time we checked, Boots was the second-largest investor in the team. And seeing as how it was Boots's bucks that stabilized the on-again/off-again—and apparently, now on again—shakiness of the financing for the Preds deal, that's a little tough to swallow. The good news? If Boots goes bankrupt, he won't be able to foot the gas bill for that U-Haul he was hoping to back up to the Sommet Center.