Chargers owner Dean Spanos, sued by his sister for a financially ruinous business; family denies “false accusations”

After The Broncos’ record sales of $ 4.65 billion for the Walton-Penner family, one of Denver’s rivals from AFC West, Chargers, may be next on the list of NFL franchises for sale. This is largely due to a long-running legal dispute that continued this week when the sister of current Chargers owner Dean Spanos filed a lawsuit accusing her brother of “misogyny” and “financially destructive” business practices, arguing that the Spanos family did not other choice than to sell the team to pay off its debts.

Dea Spanos Berberian filed a lawsuit Thursday in the San Joaquin County Supreme Court, ESPN reported, seeking sole control of the Spanos family trust, which accounts for more than a third of the Chargers’ property. (The late billionaire Alex Spanos bought the team in 1984, and his four children, including Dean and Dea, own 15 percent of the club, while the family trust owns 36 percent.) Berberian therefore seeks to control a total of 51 percent of the club. the percentage of the team that makes it the majority owner.

Her lawsuit also asks the court to stop and remove Dean Spanos as an accomplice, accusing both him and his brother Michael, the team’s deputy chairman, of acting out of their deep-seated misogyny and sense of authority as men in the family. “The Spanos brothers,” she said, “believe in their hearts that no matter what their parents’ intentions and wills are, men are responsible and women must be silent.”

Since then, the families of Dean, Michael and Alexis Spanos Ruhl have denied Berberian’s allegations in a statement sent to CBS Sports by Mark Fabiani, Chargers’ special adviser: the family resorted to making false and provocative accusations in an attempt to impose its will on the rest of the family. The three of us and our children, who make up more than 75 percent of the family and its ownership of the business, stand united in support of the wishes of our parents and grandparents, including the continued ownership and work of Chargers. “

Alexis, Dean’s other sister, also opposed Berberian’s allegations: “The statements made in today’s lawsuit against my brother Dean Spanos are scandalously incorrect,” she wrote. “Throughout this ordeal, unjustifiably challenged by my sister Dea Berberian, my brother Dean has always respected me and my wishes. And he is fighting, along with my brother Michael and me, to fulfill the wishes of our mother, Faye, related to our family and our business. To characterize Dean as somehow less than fully respectful of the women in our family is simply not right. “

Berberian claims that Dean’s decision to move Chargers from San Diego back to Los Angeles in 2017 has led to the trust of more than $ 358 million in debt. She also claims that Dean diverted $ 105 million from the trust to various debts, claiming that he manipulated the trust to borrow more than $ 60 million “for the extravagant purchase” of a private plane “which has no legal business justification.” She is represented by Adam Streisand, the same lawyer who helped Ginny Buss take control of the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA.

Dean Spanos, no matter how worth it, has long insisted that he will never sell Chargers. But Berberian, who runs the family trust with her brother as a trustee, has been looking for more control in the franchise since at least last year. In March 2021, she filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Los Angeles asking for the franchise to be sold due to growing debts of trust. Berberian’s sons, Dimitri and Lex Economou, also filed a lawsuit against Dean Spanos earlier, alleging that he had secretly diverted money from the trust.

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