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Expos' Former Minority Partners Name Selig, Loria in Fraud Lawsuit

Baseball's contraction plan sparked another lawsuit

yesterday, with former minority partners of the Expos accusing commissioner Bud

Selig of mail fraud and wire fraud.

In a 45-page federal complaint filed in Miami under the Racketeer

Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the 14 minority owners accused Selig

and former Expos owner Jeffrey Loria of conspiring for more than two years to

eliminate Montreal.

They asked that the Expos be placed in trust and said that if baseball

officials try to move or fold the team, they would seek an injunction.

"From the beginning of Mr. Loria's involvement with the Expos, he and his

co-conspirators engaged in a scheme that had as its object the destruction of

baseball in Montreal, so that Mr. Loria and his co-conspirators could justify

relocating the franchise to the United States," the complaint said.

They accused Loria and his staff of removing the Expos from local

television, subverting well-developed plans for a new baseball stadium in

downtown Montreal and purposefully alienating Expos sponsors and investors.

Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, called the suit "frivolous"

and "a shameless attempt to obtain through publicity what they know they are

not entitled to legally."

New York Sports