Stan Kroenke takes fight over release of financial information to Missouri Supreme Court
Rams owner Stan Kroenke is spending plenty of money to keep people from finding out how much money he has.
Via Joel Currier of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kroenke has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to overturn a July ruling that he must produce records regarding his net worth in the litigation arising from the relocation of the Rams in 2016.
The petition filed on Thursday comes after an intermediate appellate court promptly rejected last month Kroenke’s effort to attack the ruling.
Kroenke is willing to produce his financial statements for the past three years, but he wants to protect information related to enterprises unrelated to the Rams and/or the massive fortune of his wife, Ann Walton, a multi-billionaire Wal-Mart heiress.
The ruling from the trial court targets information regarding “any entity owned in whole or in part or directly or indirectly,” along with the federal income tax returns that Kroenke “jointly filed with his wife.”
In addition to the Rams, Kroenke owns the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, Arsenal of the Premier League, and the Colorado Rapids of MLS.
If Kroenke fails, don’t be surprised if he tries to get the U.S. Supreme Court involved. The case already has landed on the docket of the nation’s highest court, via an effort by the NFL to force the case to arbitration -- in order to avoid ever having a jury of average citizens hear the evidence and determine responsibility through a trial that plays out in open court.
The current petition focuses only on Kroenke’s required disclosure of financial information. The July ruling also authorizes the release of financial information from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Giants co-owner John Mara, former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, and Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The judge decided to allow the financial information to be disclosed after finding that clear and convincing evidence had been presented that those individuals had acted in a fraudulent manner, opening the door for a potential award of punitive damages against them. Punitive damages can’t properly be determined without knowing the amount it will take to make the person writing the check to regard the obligation as punishment.