Milwaukee Brewer All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder may have learned how to hit the long-ball from his famous baseball father Cecil Fielder, but he has also inherited his dad’s long-standing legal troubles.
When Prince was 18 years old, playing A-league ball in the minors, a process server tracked him down after a game, handing him papers naming his father as a defendant in a $387,744 lawsuit relating to a trailer-rental business in Wisconsin that went foul, according to news reports.
Cecil has long been famous for squandering much of the more than $40 million he earned in salary over his baseball career on gambling. In 1999, he lost more than $500,000 to a casino owned by Donald Trump. Trump Plaza Associates later had to sue Fielder to recover the money.
Now, Prince is once again caught up in his father’s legal and money troubles. And this time, according to a lawsuit filed against the younger Fielder and his grandparents last week in Houston federal court, it appears that Prince may be more involved than in the past.
According to the recent lawsuit:
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In 2000, Cecil and his then-wife, Stacey, owned a majority stake in the Betz Trucking company, which entered into a number of lease agreements totaling $1,108,050.30 owned by ORIX Financial Services out of Georgia. By 2003, however, Betz defaulted on the lease and ORIX sold the tractor equipment at a public sale. ORIX then sued Cecil and Stacey Fielder in New York, eventually in 2007 winning a default judgment of $687,176.88.
In 2002, about a year before the Fielder’s company defaulted on its lease, Stacey Fielder filed for divorce, which was formally granted in November 2004.
At that time, the Fielders listed as assets a home in Florida, a home in Irving, Texas and bonds, all totaling $1,280,000. ORIX claims in its lawsuit against Prince and his grandparents, Ernest and Ruby Granger of Ft. Bend County, that Cecil and Stacey Fielder transferred the two homes and bonds to their relatives prior to the divorce becoming final with the “intent to hinder, delay and/or defraud ORIX. In fact, [Prince Fielder and the Grangers] conspired to assist the Fielders in hiding these assets from ORIX.”
ORIX claims it filed the lawsuit against Prince and his grandparents to “recover the value of these assets from the fraudulent transferees” and seeks “a declaration that the transfers from Cecil and Stacey Fielder” to their family members of the two homes and bonds “are void with respect to ORIX.” – Chris Vogel