An explosive new lawsuit alleges Orioles Chairman and CEO John Angelos and his mother “looted” tens of millions of dollars from ailing team owner Peter Angelos, bought a major share of the franchise and shielded assets from potential creditors.
The allegations were made by Peter Angelos’ younger son, Louis Angelos, in an updated lawsuit against his brother and mother. They describe an alleged scheme in which, in the five years since the patriarch became ill and incapacitated, John and Georgia Angelos “systematically drained” a bank account that held more than $65 million, leaving about $400,000 several months ago .
“Peter’s wife, Georgia, and his son, John, have failed him, shirked their responsibilities and breached their legal duties in multiple, catastrophic ways,” according to the amended complaint filed Monday in Baltimore County Circuit Court by attorneys for Louis Angelos.
The filing says the mother and son secretly bought additional shares in the team from another member of the Baltimore Orioles Limited Partnership, which, with Peter Angelos as majority investor, owns the team.
Neither the size of the shares nor the seller has been identified, although it appears to be a woman. The current partnership includes two women named Wanda King, the first wife of the late author Tom Clancy, and Pam Shriver, the former tennis star. It also includes estates and a foundation that could include or be represented by women.
The investor “expressed interest in selling a portion of her ownership in the Orioles,” according to the filing, and in December 2021, “Georgia Angelos and John Angelos approved the purchase of her stock.” The filing goes on to say that Louis Angelos, 53, believes his father’s assets “were used to borrow money for the purchase.
“Peter received no benefit from this transaction, but was forced to assume the debt,” the suit states.
Steven D. Silverman, who represents John Angelos, said Tuesday in an email: “Defense counsel will respond to the latest round of falsehoods and fabrications in due course.”
Former U.S. Attorney Doug Gansler, who represents Georgia Angelos, dismissed in a statement both Louis Angelos’ lawsuit against his own family members and now the new case’s “vicious false accusations.
“These desperate accusations do nothing to save his misguided case,” he said.
Louis Angelos’ attorney, Jeffrey E. Nusinov, declined to comment.
The family’s legal battle is escalating at a time when team management faces several major decisions, from whether to extend its lease to continue playing at Camden Yards to boosting the lineup of mostly young players with more expensive talent to become more competitive on the field.
Earlier this month, John Angelos deflected questions about the impact of the family law battle on the future of the Orioles — the lawsuit revealed that Georgia Angelos was looking to sell the team — while promising to provide answers at a meeting with the media that has yet to be held. held.
The new filing also alleges that John Angelos, 55, and Georgia Angelos, 81, transferred assets from Peter Angelos, 93, “to insulate them” from potential creditors, who could include former clients of his law firm. Peter Angelos’ decades-old law firm in Baltimore won hundreds of millions of dollars over the years on behalf of steelworkers and others injured by asbestos.
Of the $65 million that was in a Wells Fargo account in Peter Angelos’ name in October 2017 when his health began to decline, the largest single transfer, $26.75 million, went to a checking account held by his wife, it says in the archive. The “majority” of that was transferred immediately after a group of clients filed a malpractice suit against Peter Angelos and his law firm in 2021 to protect assets from a potential judgment, the suit claims.
According to the suit, the clients’ case stems from a 1992 case in which a company, MCIC, was found liable for tradesmen who were injured at sites where it installed asbestos-containing insulation. The company’s insurers swore in affidavits that they could only cover $12 million worth of claims, prompting the Angelos firm to settle for that amount.
“The endorsements were false,” the filing said, and in 2005 Angelos sued on behalf of about 8,000 claimants “claiming they had been defrauded by the insurance companies.” But these claims were rejected for coming after the statute of limitations had expired. The Angelos firm appealed, but in September 2017 the state’s highest court declined to hear the case.
The next month, Peter Angelos suffered a heart attack and underwent successful heart surgery, but the following summer ended his great legal career. He eventually became too ill to manage his affairs.
The new filing portrays John Angelos as a resentful son who felt undervalued and underpaid by his father. It cites so-called manifestos that John Angelos wrote, including one dated March 3, 2015, in which he says he has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in cash flow and wealth for family businesses, but his salary never exceeded $175,000 at the Orioles or $225,000 at Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, also known as MASN.
He wrote that he was “severely” underpaid, “despite my vast experience in managing team operations and my diversity of in-depth and practical experience in sports and media business expertise and a combined skill set unmatched by any Mlb (Major League Baseball) executive leaders.”
Peter Angelos’ disability provided, according to the filing, “an opening to achieve the recognition, power and compensation he believed was his due.”
With his mother effectively acting as Peter Angelos’ attorney, rubber-stamping and sometimes even signing documents without reading them, John Angelos was able to remove his brother and another official as directors of Baltimore Orioles Inc., the team’s general . managing unit who oversaw the Orioles, the filing said. It added that John Angelos raised his salary, even though the amounts were redacted from the filing, and amended the Orioles partnership agreement to give the “control person” appointed by MLB the right to veto any votes. That control person is John Angelos.
The filing claims on January 25, 2021, $1.7 million was transferred from Peter Angelos’ Wells Fargo account to a real estate attorney in Saratoga Springs, New York, “to enable John to buy a house there.” According to the filing, an additional $2.5 million was transferred to John Angelos on April 7, 2021.
The new filing adds significant fire to what was already a scorched earth legal battle in one of the state’s most prominent families.
The match revealed that despite Georgia Angelos’ plan to sell the Orioles, John Angelos resisted them efforts, including rejecting a “credible” group of buyers in 2020. Sources have told The Baltimore Sun that John Angelos wants the family to retain majority control of the team.
The lawsuit also revealed that Georgia Angelos and John Angelos wanted to liquidate or sell the law firm, but have been opposed by Louis Angelos, who has managed it since his father’s incapacity.
Judge Keith Truffer has one planned the trial begins July 10, both against Louis Angelos’ case and a case filed in August by Georgia Angelos. She sued her younger son, saying he sold his father’s law firm to himself, characterizing the financial abuse of the elderly. Louis Angelos argued that the move was necessary because of a law requiring the firm to be transferred to another attorney after Peter Angelos was disabled.
The new archive counters that it is Peter Angelos’ wife and older son who have taken advantage of him financially.
“The defendants abused their positions of trust and confidence … knowing that Peter, by virtue of his disability, is unaware of these actions and unable to register any protest or take any corrective action to protect his rights.”