I filed my lawsuit against the NTPSA and PPI in May of 2015, for negligence and premises liability. But after discovery of the facts, the Judge recently found good cause to permit me to add a claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty against Larry Hall and Robert Malphurs individually, making them defendants in the case. (See Lawsuit
My lawsuit will not cost the NTPSA any money. The league has liability insurance, and I have offered to settle for a fraction of the policy limit. If my case goes to trial, a jury could award me more in punitive damages, but I pledge that I will not pursue the NTPSA for payment of a judgment in excess of the policy limit. I have told every member, with whom I have spoken, that my goal is to shut down Premier Park so that no one else gets injured. I hope that this disclosure will help do that. I also hope for reasonable compensation for a life changing injury. And it has taken hundreds of hours of my time and over $20,000 out of pocket for attorneys and experts to make the case against Premier Park.
Save the NTPSA
I had a CPA evaluate the financial information we received from the NTPSA, as an Expert Witness. He has substantial experience in nonprofit finance and governance, including being a co-founder, director and CFO of a private foundation that raises money for and provides scholarships to Dallas area college students from low-income families through The Dallas Foundation, a 501(c)(3). He is also the treasurer of a 501(c)(4) nonprofit neighborhood patrol association. He concludes that the financial records of the NTPSA do not comply with generally accepted accounting principles or Texas statutory requirements. My conclusion after reading the Expert Witness Report is that PPI is not a wholly owned subsidiary. They are a stockholder. The NTPSA does not control PPI and cannot prevent the issuance of more stock. He suspects that the informal rental arrangement is excessive and abusive of the nonprofit. And they appear to be "warehousing" the property in the NTPSA, while the league pays off the loan, and then they could try to slip away with the property. The more time goes by, the less people know or remember anything about it. The Executive Committee of the NTPSA should address these structural issues immediately to protect the association's assets and eliminate these potentially illegal conflicts of interest. (See report of Expert Witness
I do not know Larry Hall or Robert Malphurs personally. I do not know if they were motivated by personal gain, or just in over their heads. It has been suggested to me that they may just be incompetent, that they might not have known they were breaking many laws related to nonprofit governance. I can tell you Larry Hall "played dumb" in his deposition, saying he didn't understand or remember or know many things. But Malphurs is a CPA, who has his own accounting firm. He is bound by the same professional ethics in the performance of his duties as the NTPSA Treasurer. Whatever their motives, it seems clear they have exceeded their authority and betrayed the trust of the membership, raising serious questions of bad faith and improper motive, on top of simple questions of competence and common sense. I personally believe that the evidence of improper motive is too overwhelming to be accidental.
Everyone I have spoken with believes it is time for a change of leadership at the NTPSA, even if they wouldn’t say it publicly. Chapter 22.211 of the business code provides for the removal of a director of a nonprofit with or without cause, by a simple majority vote. A coalition is forming, including several multi-team team organizations, to organize a special meeting to remove Larry Hall and Robert Malphurs from the board of directors of the NTPSA. The NTPSA Constitution provides that a special meeting of the members may be called by 20% of the voting membership. (See Constitution
) The NTPSA currently has 177 voting team captains and 8 voting board members for a total of 185 votes. Therefore, a special meeting may be called by a petition of 37 team captains, and the coalition already has about half that. If you would like to sign the petition to call a special meeting, or speak to one of the organizers, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
. All petitioners will be anonymous until such time that the petition containing 37 or more signatures is presented to the NTPSA, in order to prevent reprisal against the participating members. In the event that the 37 petitions required to call a special meeting are not gathered, the signed petitions will be destroyed to protect the anonymity of the petitioners.
It will take some time to extricate the NTPSA from the Premier Park mess. I believe the land could be sold for more than enough to satisfy the bank and put a little money back in the league's coffers. Remember that you are paying twice as much as 10 years ago, and the league will realize an additional $200,000 per year in cash flow without the PPI monkey on its back, which on top of what they have always paid to rent fields, is more than enough to play every league game at the best fields in town..
I also believe the problem is bigger than just the NTPSA, and that North Texas Soccer has known of the danger at Premier Park, and ignored, even covered it up. Perhaps because Larry Hall is a member of the board of North Texas Soccer, and the director of men's soccer. I decided to file my lawsuit after the conversation with my referee friend. I called him and left several messages over the following year, but never a return call. Then one day his wife answered the phone and passed it to him. When I reminded him who I was, he remembered me, but went on to explain that he could no longer help me with my lawsuit or even talk to me, because he had returned to work at Premier Park and could not speak up against the NTPSA, and hung up.
So I called North Texas Soccer to ask if the referee committee had received complaints about Premier Park. I spoke to Fred Hiler, who is the chairman of the state referee committee. As soon as I asked about Premier Park, he asked me if I was the Mr. Gray who was suing the NTPSA. I said yes. He then refused to speak to me, even after I made it clear that I wasn’t suing North Texas Soccer. He said that he could not talk to me while I was suing the NTPSA and hung up.
So I called Jim Carlsen, the referee committee coordinator. He spoke to me for a while, despite my litigation with the NTPSA. He seemed interested and concerned, and he promised to discuss Premier Park in the next referee committee meeting, and to call me and let me know what happened. I also sent a copy of my expert witness report to both Carlsen and Hiler. I never received a call, and the referees continue to work at Premier Park. I called Mr. Carlsen some time later and left him a message, but I never heard back. The day after those conversations, I sent both Fred Hiler and Jim Carlsen a copy of my expert witness’s report by certified mail, c/o North Texas Soccer.
I spoke to a director at the United States Soccer referee program who said that the referee has the power and the duty to prevent a game from being conducted on a field if he believes the field is dangerous. I visited Premier Park during league play last year, and I asked a referee who was working on Field 5 if he thought the field was safe. He told me that the refs have been told that it is not their job to worry about field safety. A twelve inch deep trough between two humps is not much different than a twelve-inch hole, when you arrive at full speed while looking the other way. Could a referee permit game to go forward on a field with twelve-inch deep holes all over it? So, why are the North Texas soccer referees not interested in the safety of the players? And, why are they being silenced? What if the ref who worked my game the day I was injured, had seen the same thing happen to others before me? How is the referee who told me that Premier Park was too dangerous, now going to blow his whistle to begin a match there? Every player should hope that the refs would be partners in an effort to make the sport as safe as possible. But they certainly shouldn’t be influenced to ignore and cover up known safety issues.
Thank you for taking the time to read my report. I hope it will be the catalyst for the teams to take action to prevent future injuries at Premier Park. If you have any questions, or if you have any information that you believe might be helpful, or if you or anyone you know has been injured at Premier Park, please contact me. I may be reached by phone anytime at 214-502-8191, or email email@example.com
November 3 Update
Pursuant to a subpoena for financial and governance information, Larry Hall brought maybe a thousand pages of new production to his deposition on October 27, 2016, and in it, we found a smoking gun on breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. We have known that the numbers were not right, but now we can prove it. To prove it, you need to know how many members there were in any given year, and how much the player fee was. We now know the following:
1) how many players there were in 2012 because of the tax preparers questionnaire to the affiliates. We had never seen that before, and I doubt anyone has;
2) how to determine approximately how many players there were in any given year by the "Registration fee" or "NTSSA fees" - it appears both ways in the financials;
3) what the season by season fees and increases were.
to see what we discovered and what we are doing with this information!
November 7 Update -
Larry and Robert are telling anyone who asks that I am a liar, and that I wasn’t injured at Premier Park. So I have attached 4 Affidavits from my team members who saw me injured on the field on May 19, 2013. (See Affidavits
) Any member who wishes to talk to me or to see my evidence is welcome to do so. Most of the proof required to understand that Larry, Andi and Robert have ripped us off is on my website. When I first discovered that Premier Park was owned by a private corporation, which was not easy, I mentioned to an old team mate that I suspected they were crooks. Turns out he is friends with and on the same team with Larry’s son. So they accused me of defamation, and the Judge ordered me not to defame them. So I kept my mouth shut until I could prove it. I now believe that Larry, Andi and Robert are involved in a conspiracy to defraud the NTPSA.
You need only look at the exhibit in the Nov 3 Update above, pull out a calculator and do some math. Larry claimed 4,900 players. For those of you who don’t understand the league structure, the NTPSA pays $22 per player, only once a year, to North Texas Soccer in the form of a $11 Registration Fee and an $11 Insurance Fee. Other than a $20 league affiliation fee, and a few $2 transfer fees, maybe a few $8 youth waivers, the NTSSA Registration fees paid by the NTPSA divided by 22 tells you how many players were registered. In 2012, the NTPSA paid $102,741 to North Texas Soccer, so at $22, that is about 4650 players. And as you can see, the dues were $75 per season. That’s $700,000!!!!!!!! But Larry only reported $368,513.01 to the IRS. North Texas Soccer should have known that was a fraud. And where are the “Premier Park Support” disbursements in the federal return that show up in Malphurs' books?
My lawsuit may be the best thing to ever happen to this league. I suggest that all of you ask all the other directors of the NTPSA what they have been doing for the last 10 years. We plan on finding out soon enough, after we get them all included in this lawsuit.
PPI Articles of Incorporation
Loan security document
NTPSA Public Information Reports
NTPSA Articles of incorporation
Motion to Protect
Expert report on Fields