Problems Up To His Boots

The business dealings of William "Boots" Del Biaggio III, who had a contract with AEG to bring an NHL team to Kansas City, Mo.’s Sprint Center, are being examined by federal investigators, the San Jose Mercury News reported May 30th.

Days before the investor’s hometown newspaper reported the investigation, Del Biaggio announced his departure from Sand Hill Capital, a company he founded in 1997.

In a May 26th statement, the company said he was leaving "for personal reasons," according to the Mercury News.

Sources familiar with the investigation said that, in particular, federal authorities were looking into loans obtained by Del Biaggio, the paper reported.

Merriman Curhan Ford, a publicly traded San Francisco investment bank, said in a May 29th filing it was cooperating with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation into the activities of an unnamed "retail client" and an MCF broker.

The broker, who has been suspended, was said to have assisted the client in obtaining loans by using information from the accounts of other clients.

"Sand Hill Capital is not the target of any sort of investigation," Barbara Reichert, a spokeswoman for the company, told the paper. "Boots does have outside personal entities that he controls that have nothing to do with the Sand Hill business."

Del Biaggio is pals with AEG’s Tim Leiweke and he was once considered a favorite to acquire the Nashville Predators NHL team. A group of Tennessee investors eventually bought two-thirds of the hockey team, according to the Mercury News.

In 2005 Del Biaggio planned to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins but the team pulled out after winning the NHL draft lottery. He was also a minority investor in the San Jose Sharks.

"Boots Del Biaggio is a good and generous person. Boots will cooperate fully with any investigation," Del Biaggio’s lawyer Elliot Peters stated.