According to SinBin Vegas, Las Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner and his wife, Donia, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nevada before the new year.
Lehner estimates his assets to be between $1 million and $10 million, while his liability to creditors is between $10 and $50 million, according to the public record.
Surprisingly, this is one of the main reasons for Lehner’s financial difficulties: his ownership of RL Exotics LLC, a farm for rare and exotic snakes and reptiles in Missouri.
In 2017, Lehner purchased a group of eels for $1.2 million from world-famous reptile breeder Ben Renick and set up a payment plan with quarterly installments of $200,000.
According to Missouri-based news station KMIZ, a lawsuit was filed in 2018 after Renick’s wife killed him and Lehner stopped making payments to the Vipers. Lehner then countered, saying that the maintenance costs and uncontrolled breeding among the snakes undervalued him.
As the legal battle continued, the company later claimed that Lehner “stole a bunch of anacondas [from] Renick Reptiles workplace (as well as a group of Bullet Snakes that Lehner refused to pay). The lawsuit was settled in November 2019 and RL Exotics LLC has been in business since then.
The Golden Knights along with Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, the National Hockey League, Newport Sports Management, and Sure Sports Lending were officially listed as interested parties in Lehners’ bankruptcy.
Sure Sports Lending specializes in “low interest, unsecured loans and contract advances for professional athletes in the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL, and MLS based on their contracts with players.” They are no strangers to controversy, as they were also involved in the 2021 Evander Kane bankruptcy filing.
The substitute student is set to miss the remainder of the 2022-23 season after undergoing hip surgery over the offseason. The 31-year-old has two years left on his contract, which carries a maximum of $5 million a year.
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