Silicon Valley Swindler Gets 8 Years

William "Boots" Del Biaggio III ordered to pay $67.5 million in restitution for fraudulent business schemes

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Sep 9, 2009  |  Updated 1:00 PM PDT
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Silicon Valley Swindler Gets 8 Years

William "Boots" Del Biaggio III in 2002.

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"He would look in our eyes and leave with our money," said real estate developer and investor William Baron in court Thursday of William "Boots" Del Biaggio III.

Del Biaggio was convicted of fraud and sentenced to over eight years and $67.5 million in restitution.

A former part-owner of the San Jose Sharks who in part used the money to buy an interest in the Nashville Predators National Hockey League franchise, Del Biaggio forged documents in order to inflate his apparent assets as collateral for loans.

He used the money to live lavishly, running up as much as $4 million in gambling debts and cultivating a drug problem.

The judge offered reduced sentence terms if Del Biaggio completed a substance abuse treatment regimen while behind bars.

Del Biaggio also agreed to a settlement in a suit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, with further penalties to be determined by a judge.

A tearful Del Biaggio addressed the court during sentencing, and promised to pay back defrauded investors.

Estimated losses to lenders amount to $47.4 million.

Jackson West never thought the NHL's expansion into California was going to end well.

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