Ex-Chicago Rush owner David Staral arrested on federal fraud charges

Prosecutors said Monday that David Staral, the former owner of the Chicago Rush, an Arena Football League franchise, was arrested on federal fraud charges. Staral initially bought the team in February 2013.
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Prosecutors said Monday that David Staral, the former owner of the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League was arrested on federal fraud charges, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Staral was charged with one count of bankruptcy fraud and one count of wire fraud.

According to theTribune, Staral told the AFL when he was attempting to buy the team in February 2013 that he had a personal worth of more than $5 million. That allegedly wasn't true, as Staral had recently filed for bankruptcy.

Staral also later allegedly lied in bankruptcy court when he said he was unemployed, as he had just purchased the Rush.

More, from the Chicago Sun-Times:

He committed bankruptcy fraud by scheming to discharge more than $900,000 in unsecured debt, while concealing from his creditors and the bankruptcy trustee additional businesses he was involved with, income he had received before filing for bankruptcy, and at least two personal bank accounts, the feds allege.

Staral previously filed a bankruptcy petition in 2002 — and knew how it would give him a chance at a fresh start, the feds say. He also conned two investors in a pair of 2012 scams, according to the criminal complaint against him.

In May 2013, when Staral's troubles initially surfaced, the AFL seized control of the Rush from Staral. In September of that year, after the team's season ended, the league announced that the franchise had been disbanded until further notice.

Staral faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the two charges against him.

First formed in 2001, the Rush qualified for the AFL playoffs every year except 2009, when the league didn't operate, and 2012 before the franchise went defunct.

Ben Estes