Was embezzlement involved in failed Boston race?

The Verizon IndyCar Series’ Grand Prix of Boston was set to be a pretty sweet race with a 2.2-mile temporary street course carved out of the city for the Labor Day race. Unfortunately, the race was cancelled altogether after relationships between race promoters and the City of Boston fell apart. The president of the Grand Prix of Boston group blamed it on the cities “endless, unrealistic demands," while the city pointed its finger right back, saying the group was unorganized and wasn’t willing to put in the work to make the race happen.

There’s still a lot of speculation flying around, with some wondering just what happened to the $2,086,798 earned in ticket sales from more than 4,000 people who bought tickets to the race. Various reports are indicating that organizers had just $400,000 for refunds after the event was cancelled, while ESPN reports that the Grand Prix filed for bankruptcy with just $10,909 in the bank, a pair of show cars worth $50,000 combined, and 120 concrete barriers to its name. If you do the math, that means that there is $1,625,889 that was spent outside of refunding tickets, building show cars, and purchasing concrete barriers. So now, here I am asking: Where did that $1.625 million go?

A settlement that took place last week for $1.67 million means that IndyCar has to pay out $925,000 to help cover the refunds of tickets that were guaranteed to be refunded should the race fall through. It’s a large part of the bill, but it doesn’t come close to fixing the whole mess.

According to ESPN, IndyCar claims that the Grand Prix of Boston owes the series as much as $4.2 million. Attorney General Maura Healey has also filed a lawsuit against Boston Grand Prix LLC and manager John Casey for the rest of the money owed to ticket buyers. The Boston Globe has reported that the suit blames Casey and the Company of “selling tickets and spending the proceeds" while they should have known the race itself was in dire straits. According to the suit, the group didn’t even have the permits to make the race happen, and an affidavit filed in the case claims that financial investigators found more than $50,000 in checks written from Boston Grand Prix LLC to Casey three months before the race was cancelled. Furthermore, there is an additional $175,209 in checks written to Casey Summit LLC between June of 2015 and April of 2016. Reports are indicating that transactions in the BGP’s bank records show a lot of personal expenses on things like electronics and even SiriusXM radio.

Apparently, and according to the Boston Globe, there are several other lawsuits against the company, but we have yet to find information on those. As far as I’m concerned, it looks like someone fouled up pretty bad. It’s like a young store manager dipping into the petty cash fund of a store – some people just can’t resist the temptation to take a little, or in this case, a lot off the top for themselves. It’s unfortunate but, hopefully, between the IndyCar payment and anything obtained through the AG’s lawsuit against the company and Casey, all ticket purchasers will be reimbursed. It almost seems to me like there are a few cases of embezzlement that could be pursued at a later date. Then again, I’m not a law professional, so don’t take that to heart. Robert Moore/TopSpeed

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