Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny Suffers Costly Court Setback
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny suffered a costly setback in a legal tussle when a judge ruled that he needs to repay millions of dollars of loans he made with the Business Bank of St. Louis in connection with a failed real estate investment.
In his decision, Circuit Court Judge Tom DePriest said that neither the country's economic downturn nor the decision by the bank to stop loaning money to Matheny and his wife relieved them of their obligations to repay the loans.
The ruling will cost Matheny millions of dollars as court records show that his partnership still owes the bank at least $4.4 million.
The judge has given the bank 30 days to file a final bill, including interest and court costs, and Matheny 15 days to respond.
DePriest set a hearing for March 13 to hear any objections to the final judgment amount. Matheny said he hoped the two sides could find a resolution by that date
Matheny said he will not appeal the ruling, adding that he wants to put the issue behind him.
Matheny, who is slated to earn $750,000 in the coming season, said he might need all of his investments and savings to pay off the bank debt.
First due in 2009, the loans were extended to 2010, according to court records. Matheny and his wife, Kristin, personally guaranteed $4.2 million of the debt, including a $1 million claim on their 11-acre home in suburban Wildwood.
In 2010, Matheny informed the bank that he would stop making payments on the loan, citing the "need to protect our family's interest".
In June, the bank sued Matheny and foreclosed on the land, buying the lots for $4.5 million, which it credited to the partnership's accounts.
Ever since, Matheny and the bank have been arguing in court about how much he should pay. In the meantime, he landed the job as Cardinals manager in November 2011.
Earlier, Matheny's attorney argued that the bank breached the contract by refusing to loan the manager additional money for improvement to the U.S. Turf property.
They blamed the "current economic crisis" and argued that the foreclosure price — "substantially less than fair market value" — should be voided, court records show.
The judge, however, found that Matheny's arguments were invalid. DePriest said the Missouri Supreme Court had recently reaffirmed that foreclosures can be voided only when the sale price "shocks the conscience."
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