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Lawyer files federal racketeering suit over ‘pay for play’ on son’s high school lacrosse team

Posted Apr 8, 2014 10:30 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A Texas lawyer has filed a 39-page federal lawsuit over what he describes as a federal racketeering enterprise requiring "pay for play" from those who want to be active participants in some of the state's top high school lacrosse programs.

Among those adversely affected, according to the complaint by William Munck, is his own son. It alleges that the youth's playing time at Episopal School of Dallas was limited because coaches affiliated with that high school team and two other local powerhouses used their influence to reward others who participated in a Dallas Lacrosse Academy, a private for-profit travel team with which the coaches are involved, according to Above the Law and Watchdog.

Filed last month, the Eastern District of Texas suit contends that defendants involved in DLA operations have violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by tactics that forced others to contribute to the success of the private for-profit DLA team.

“DLA and the RICO defendants pushed their student athletes to participate in DLA if they wanted to play or succeed in their youth and high school programs,” the suit states. “Through the use of illegal and fraudulent conduct, including threats, intimidation, and even extortion, defendants have tried to ensure that student athletes who want to play lacrosse in North Texas have to pay for play and have to go through defendants’ enterprise.”

In a motion to dismiss, the defendants say the problem underlying the case is an over-involved sports dad rather than a racketeering enterprise, reports Above the Law.

For years, Munck "has used his position as a lawyer and owner of the law firm Munck Wilson Mandala ... as a tool directed at various lacrosse coaches in the North Texas community," the filing states. The defendants' "only sin," it continues, "is failing to recognize and appreciate the athletic talents of Munck's son," who is also a plaintiff in the federal case along with his mother.

The suit seeks injunctive relief, treble damages and attorney's fees.

See also:

Courthouse News: "Coaches in RICO Suit Fire Back at Lacrosse Dad"

Updated at 3:45 p.m. to include link to Courthouse News article.

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