NHL star Evander Kane’s financial problems have taken an even nastier turn, after Professional Bank filed a lawsuit against the stricken San Jose Sharks winger demanding $15 million.
Kane filed for bankruptcy in January, claiming $26.8 million in total debt. This was less than three years after he signed a $49 million, seven-year extension with the Sharks.
Another of his creditors, Zions Bancorp, alleged in a motion to the bankruptcy court in February that the hockey player has a “serious gambling problem” and made “poor, self-centered financial decisions.” Zions is also considering suing its celebrity debtor.
Meanwhile, Professional Bank accuses Kane of committing fraud by applying for and receiving a loan of $1.5 million, which it claims he never intended to pay back. The bank is seeking ten times that amount in punitive damages.
Secured Against Sharks Deal
According to the lawsuit, Kane was “also borrowing enormous amounts of money from other banks, including Centennial Bank, Zions Bancorporation, and South River Capital… [and]… incurring enormous amounts of debt owed to other creditors.”
These loans were secured against Kane’s lucrative deal with the Sharks. In many cases, lenders agreed to loans on the assurance repayments would be made to them directly by the Sharks from the Canadian athlete’s wages.
But according to the Professional Bank lawsuit, and another from Centennial Bank, Kane quickly revoked the automatic payments from the Sharks.
The Centennial suit was filed in February, just days before Kane applied for bankruptcy. It seeks to recoup $8.3 million in principal and interest.
The Professional suit seeks to change the category of Kane’s bankruptcy from chapter 7, which is for individuals, to chapter 11, which is for companies. Chapter 11 could allow Kane’s creditors to get their hands on his future earnings – the $29 million remaining from the Sharks contract.
The athlete’s bankruptcy filing lists 47 creditors in total. It also claims that despite earning a salary of $7 million a year, his monthly income is minus-$91,131.13. It lists seven dependents living in his home, including his parents, two uncles, and a grandmother.
According to the Zions motion: “[Kane] ought not be allowed to continue handling his substantial salary and bonuses, or be allowed to continue gambling and speculating with his income instead of committing it to his creditors.”
Kane’s gambling was first spotlighted in November 2019 when the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas sued him to recover $500,000 in unpaid casino markers.
That case was dropped in April 2020, presumably because Kane settled the debt.
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