Three takeaways from Shilo Sanders' bankruptcy case

The Colorado Buffaloes defensive back might be in hot water over court filings
Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes safety Shilo Sanders (21) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes safety Shilo Sanders (21) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Shilo Sanders is trying to absolve an $11.8 million debt tied to an assault from 2015 when he was in high school. The Colorado Buffaloes safety filed for bankruptcy last year, according to court records obtained by BuffsBeat. The outstanding debt was leveled by a Texas court after a security guard by the name of John Darjean claimed Sanders rendered him with severe and permanent injuries, including "neurological injuries and damage to his cervical spine." Here are three takeaways from the case. 

Sanders lack of concern cost him in court 

Deion Sanders' son was a no-show for court and had the default judgement placed against him. In May of 2022, a Dallas County judge said, “The Court finds that Shilo Sanders’ actions were the proximate cause of John Darjean’s injuries/damages. The Court further finds that Shio Sanders actions were a substantial factor in bringing about the physical and mental injuries sustained by John Darjean, without which such injuries and damages would not have occurred.” 

Sanders' attorney said in later court filings that he wasn’t aware of the proceedings. He also wasn't aware of any judgement until taking over the case. Notices for trial didn’t reach Shilo or were sent to the wrong address, according to statements. He also didn't have an attorney representing him in the case at the time the trial notices were sent. We can sit here and say that Sanders wasn't notified of anything. However, he knew about the initial matter and should've retained legal counsel on his behalf. It was one of the missteps for Sanders in this case. “Following the State Court convening the trial, a form of judgment was submitted by the Plaintiff and his workers’ compensation insurer and was entered by the state Court without any further notice, knowledge, or opportunity to present a defense by Shilo, including the existence of pre-existing substantial injuries resulting from the Plaintiff’s prior career as a (pro) baseball player. The total amount of the judgment was in excess of $11.8 million," Sanders' attorneys wrote. 

Providing false statements or concealing financial records are criminal acts

This is the main part of the bankruptcy rebuttal from the side of Darjean and his attorneys. When Sanders declared his assets on the initial schedule on December 19, 2023, it shows a total of $477,881 in assets including $300K in a Robinhood account and $8K in a Wells Fargo account. Nothing was declared from any of Sanders' NIL projects, including major appearances in national commercials and at a widely-respected fashion show.

There were at least 32 times that Sanders failed to disclose income generated from an array of avenues, according to court records.  

Shilo has appeared in the last several months including but not limited to the following.
a. September 28, 2023, Instagram paid partnership with Tint my Ride.
b. September 13, 2023, Instagram Paid Partnership with KFC Hot & Spicy
c. August 17, 2023, Instagram Paid Partnership with KFC $20 Fill Up Box.
d. August 1, 2023, Instagram and Tiktok Paid Partnership with Metaquest.
e. July 3, 2023, Commercial with KFC BBQ Fried Chicken Sandwich.
f. June 14, 2023, Instagram Paid Partnership with The Sanders Family and
g. June 13, 2023, Instagram Paid Partnership with The Sanders Family and
h. March 8, 2023, Instagram Paid Partnership with TurboTax.
i. February 26, 2023, Instagram Paid Partnership with Champs Sports.
j. February 12, 2023, Instagram Paid Partnership with Oikos Yogurt.
k. January 31, 2023, Oikos Yogurt Superbowl Commercial.
l. August 3, 2022, Paid Partnership with Porsche Jackson.
m. October 21, 2022, Paid Partnership with Actively Black.
n. October 20, 2022, Paid Partnership with Kinly.
o. October 11, 2022, Paid Partnership with Instagram Cloud Gaming
Chromebook AD.

Shilo doesn’t mention any deals, contracts, or payments on behalf of monetization
from views, engagement, ads, and paid partnerships from his social media accounts, which include
at least the following.
a. YouTube Views/Ads/Paid Partnerships.
b. Instagram, Threads, Facebook Ads/Paid Partnerships.
c. TikTok Views/Ads/Paid Partnerships.

Both times, Shilo marked Schedule AB-26 “none” for copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and other intellectual property and Schedule AB-27 “none” for any other general intangible property.

121. Shilo has made no attempt to cure these deficiencies since the creditors meeting.
122. The initial Schedule AB claimed $75,000 of jewelry, and then the amended
Schedule AB suddenly disclaimed ownership.
123. No description of the jewelry was provided in the schedules or to Darjean.

Contrary to the schedules, Shilo has admitted acquiring vast amounts of high end
and expensive clothing. For example, on his YouTube Channel posted on May 4, 2023, he states,
“Alright we at the Louis (Vuitton) Store I am trying to spend at least $50,00.00 today.”

Sanders might be in serious legal trouble by failing to disclose his assets. A Colorado-based attorney reviewed the court documents and told BuffsBeat, "Hiding assets from the Trustee is a crime. Also, he could be cited for contempt of court and disobeying orders to disclose."   

"On the surface, this omission is as glaring as it is preposterous because it is Shilo’s very NIL value and/or public value that are the source of the non-stop paid engagements and social media appearances.

"The entire underpinning of the NIL concept is the value of the individual athlete, but Shilo chose not only to hide the value of the entire NIL endeavor with the “unknown” listings for the two of the entities that were disclosed (Big 21 LLC and/or SS21 LLC), but Shilo intentionally failed to identify and disclose his individual NIL property interest anywhere in the schedules.

"Shilo must have assumed that the trustee and creditors would simply know that the individual NIL interest must exist because of his name alone or perhaps by the flood of social media appearances, but any such assumption does not excuse the failure of Shilo to identify, disclose, and value his most significant and highly valuable asset in the key document of the individual Chapter 7 debtor"

Sanders’ attorney also stated Sanders “has taken no action to hide, transfer, destroy, or mutilate assets, either on a pre- or post-Petition Date basis, and even went so far as to voluntarily turnover over $210,000 to the (bankruptcy) Trustee without waiting for further order of the Bankruptcy Court, or even a stipulation for turnover.”

Does Coach Prime share responsibility in what happened?   

While this is a grey area considering Shilo was found to be at fault for the incident, Coach Prime played a role by asking Darjean to monitor the situation before the assault. The near $12 million judgement could be wiped out by Coach Prime and would've likely been settled out of court years ago.

However, that wasn't the case and Sanders is now trying to wipe the debt off his books. Deion Sanders told Darjean to take Shilo's cell phone when he tried to call his ex-wife, Pilar, while at school. “Do me a huge favor,” Sanders said, “You're my brother in Christ, I need you to go get the phone…as soon as you get the phone from him, give me a call back.” Darjean followed Shilo into the hallway when suddenly and without warning, Shilo violently attacked Darjean, according to court records. Sanders wasn't there, but didn't stop the actions from happening. 

Published |Modified
Josh Tolle