There are many tales of financial woe to emerge from our economic meltdown, but few are more bizarre than the developer who bilked NHL players out of millions of dollars—only to lavish it on ex-baseball players?
Las Vegas golf-course developer, Ken Jowdy, is accused of taking more than $25 million from investors to build a resort in Mexico, only instead of actually building anything, they guy just spent the money on parties for him and his friends. Oh, and his friends are Joe Morgan, Roger Clemens, Reggie Jackson and Pete Rose.
The losers in this scenario included many ex-Rangers, Islanders and Devils including Bryan Berard, Michael Peca, Mattias Norstrom, Chris Simon, Steve Rucchin, and Rem Murray, and current Cup carrier Sergei Gonchar. The winners? The friends who got six-figure no-show construction jobs and anyone who likes to stick stuff in Roger Clemens' ass. According to the lawsuit, Jowdy gave Brian McNamee a job as a personal trainer and put "a Clemens gal pal named Adrian Moore, described as a 'regular party attendee who was close to Clemens,' on his payroll 'as a personal favor'" to the Rocket. (That's New York Post-speak for "they were doing it.")
Other winners included the "porn stars, escorts, strippers [and] party girls" who were flown for the lavish "bacchanalian revelry" that Jowdy used to woo his baseball party pals. The hockey goons weren't invited.
From one angle it makes sense: If you want to throw crazy sex parties to impress your famous "friends," you can't be stealing from those friends. So you have to target a different group of gullible millionaires to finance your orgies with the first group. On the other hand, if you're going to steal money from rich athletes, why would you go after NHL players? You don't see jewel thieves breaking into trailer parks, do you?
Plus, why would anyone want to impress Joe Morgan? (For the record, Joe says: "It's unethical to use my name when I never went to any of those parties, nor was I involved in any other activities." (His name came up in the lawsuit, but so noted.)
According to the filings, Jowdy lavished attention on the baseball players "under the guise that these individuals would eventually purchase real estate" in the planned resorts, called Diamante Del Mar and Diamante Cabo San Lucas. But, the ex-major leaguers never expressed any interest, according to the suit.
Specifically, the suit states, "Clemens and even his wife were vocal and adamant that they would never purchase" the property.
"Nevertheless, Jowdy continued to provide - and these individuals all continued to accept - gratuitous, extravagant private air travel, five-star hotel accommodations, luxury home rentals, unlimited food and beverage expenses, golf tournaments and lavish parties several times a year over a three-year period," the suits allege.
Baseball players: "We may not like you, but we'll take your free stuff."