August 10, 2012
By: John Clark
Former baseball superstar and reality television supernova Jose Canseco has filed for personal bankruptcy in the state of Nevada, according to a report from Yahoo Sports.
The former 1988 American League Most Valuable Player has had well-documented financial struggles over the past several years, which led Canseco to write books, appear in reality television shows, and make bizarre public appearances in an effort to rescue his finances.
These tactics seem to have worked for a while, but Canseco’s fiscal outlook was ultimately decimated after years of declining revenue and profligate spending.
Sources say that the 48-year-old retired baseball star, who lives in Las Vegas, had nearly $1.7 million in debt, according to papers he filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court this week.
And the amount of debt is particularly troubling given his limited financial assets. Sources say that Canseco claims to have only $21,000 in assets, despite all his fame.
Unfortunately for Canseco, his debts aren’t solely owed to private entities. Sources say he owes at least a half million dollars to the Internal Revenue Service, which could make his life very difficult if he is unable to pay his back taxes.
Taxes may sometimes be discharged in bankruptcy, but filers must meet several specific elements, including proving that the debts are related to income taxes more than three years old, and that he didn’t engage in any fraud or financial malfeasance.
Of course, even if Canseco is unable to discharge his tax debts in his Chapter 7 filing, the potential elimination of other debts could free up funds to repay the IRS.
The bankruptcy filing represents a sobering fall from grace for Canseco, who, in addition to being the MVP in 1988, was also the 1986 American League Rookie of the Year.
Canseco teamed with Mark McGuire for several years in Oakland, and the two sluggers gained notoriety after they retired when investigators discovered they used performance-enhancing drugs.
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