In a move that should surprise no one, least of all Loria himself, the Miami-Dade County government has opened a lawsuit against former Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria as they seek to recoup proceeds from the sale of the team last October. The full scoop is over on the Miami Herald, where Doug Hanks writes that the suit names both Loria and the current Marlins franchise as defendants.
According to a separate statement released by the team on Friday, however, the beef only appears to be between the county and Loria:
This claim has absolutely nothing to do with this ownership group. This County City equity payment is 100% an obligation of the previous ownership and it was specifically excluded as part of our purchase of the team. We expect the previous ownership and the County to resolve this dispute in an expeditious manner.
Earlier this month, Loria’s lawyers claimed (rather dubiously) that he came away from the $1.2 billion sale of the team with a $141 million loss, effectively cheating the county out of the profits they’re entitled to under an agreement struck by the two parties back in 2009. Now, the county claims the former owner’s attorneys and accountants delivered insufficient records of transactions, loans and payouts that reportedly factored into those profit calculations, calling it “unsupported, self-serving, and fuzzy math” that provided “a sufficient basis to deceive the public.”
While the county has not named a specific dollar amount in the suit, they will seek a jury trial. Hanks adds that city manager Emilio Gonzalez expects the city open a separate suit against Loria later this year as well.