Former Rush owner arrested on fraud charges
The former owner of the now-defunct Chicago Rush Arena Football League team has been arrested on a variety of fraud charges stemming from his purchase of the team last year.
David Staral Jr., 35, of Kenosha, Wis., is charged with bankruptcy fraud for, authorities allege, concealing income from creditors and a bankruptcy trustee as well as mail fraud for lying about the state of his personal finances when he purchased the team ahead of the 2013 season.
Staral, a felon on probation for theft at the time of his purchase of the team, defaulted on his contract just months after buying the Rush. After the 2013 season ended, the team folded.
The league stepped in to cover some costs, but it's unclear if more money is still owed to Allstate Arena and the village of Rosemont, which owns the arena. Allstate Arena general manager Pat Nagle said all the money owed by the Rush has been paid to the arena and village.
The league was desperate to find a new owner after Julee White had terminated her ownership of the team. Staral portrayed himself as an investment wunderkind to the league, whose officials bought the ruse. But the sale to Staral ultimately embarrassed the league, which hadn't vetted the new owner's finances before approval of the sale. The Rush were one of the league's marquee franchises. When it folded, players were allowed to move to other teams as part of a "dispersal draft."
By the time Staral purchased the Rush in 2013, he already had pleaded guilty to felony theft twice and was on probation.
Staral faces up to 20 years if convicted.