As it turns out, J.B. Smith, the prospective buyer of the Atlanta Thrashers that would apparently keep the team in town, has some issues. Several reports claimed that the venture capitalist was a member of the firm Equity 11, but that company distanced itself from Smith via a press release on Wednesday.
That press release doesn't shine a very nice light on Smith. Via Marketwire:
Equity 11, Ltd. and iSekurity, an identity theft security and restoration firm comprised of former United States Federal Agents, announced today that media reports about JB Smith's association with Equity 11 and iSekurity are untrue.
"The shareholders of Equity 11 and iSekurity removed JB Smith from all positions he held with our companies in June 2010," said Jim Juliano, Equity 11's and iSekurity's Chairman. "In addition, the Oakland County Circuit Court entered a $1.9 million judgment against JB Smith, banned him from all positions with Equity 11 and iSekurity and ordered him to relinquish any ownership in these companies. JB Smith has not made any payments on this judgment. Several other creditors are also seeking payment from JB Smith." The Court took this action in Oakland County Circuit Court Case No. 10-1100121-CB.
And, uh, yep. Good luck with that sale, guys.
There's still that glimmer of hope for Thrashers fans, though. We said on Tuesday in this StoryStream that it seemed like two separate reports -- one from John Kincaid of ESPN Radio in Atlanta and one from Kevin Allen of USA Today -- were talking about the same local group interested in buying the Thrashers.
According to SB Nation's Bird Watchers Anonymous, however, it seems those reports were referring to different people. Kincaid was referring to Smith. Allen? Somebody else.
It's been rumored that Tom Cousins, the former owner of the Atlanta Flames, is involved in the group in some capacity. He's recently been awarded the rights to develop the Gulch parking area. This group's not as far along as True North in their offer, but hey - they have an offer in. And that one little offer gives fans a glimmer of hope.
Stick tap to Mirtle for that press release.