Threats sent to R.I. lawmakers probing 38 Studios bonds

Two Rhode Island legislators investigating the collapse of former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s bankrupt video-game company have received poison-pen letters. More

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38 Studios

Threats sent to R.I. lawmakers probing 38 Studios bonds

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/TONY AVELAR
Rhode Island Reps. Karen MacBeth and Michael Chippendale say they have received threatening letters regarding their probe into the collapse of Curt Schilling's game company 38 Studios.
Posted 5/9/14

Two Rhode Island legislators investigating the collapse of former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s bankrupt video-game company have received poison-pen letters.

Reps. Karen MacBeth and Michael Chippendale have been leading the House Oversight Committee’s probe into the collapse of 38 Studios LLC and the $75 million of taxable municipal bonds issued to support the company.

“You have a beautiful family,” said the letter to Chippendale, which arrived April 29. “Stop poking around.”

The meaning was unmistakable, he said yesterday.

“The only common link between Rep. MacBeth and me is this investigation,” said Chippendale, a Foster Republican. “So it’s clear what they’re talking about.”

Schilling, a former Major League Baseball player who pitched on the team that won the 2004 World Series, has gone from being an economic-development hero to the center of a fiscal scandal. The former R.I. Economic Development Corporation, now called the R.I. Commerce Corporation, in 2010 sold the debt to lure his 38 Studios. The video-game maker filed for bankruptcy about two years later, leaving the state on the hook.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the financing, Rhode Island is suing the insolvent company and lawmakers are looking into the affair.

Unearthing leads

MacBeth’s legislative office received a threatening letter May 1, after Chippendale warned her to be on the lookout, she said. The Cumberland Democrat, who chairs the oversight panel, called police, who opened it in her presence before taking it away.

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