SAN LUIS OBISPO (AP) — Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is asking a judge to allow the university to cover up the name of a convicted felon on its stadium scoreboard.
A motion filed last week in bankruptcy court seeks permission to cover up Al Moriarty’s name before Cal Poly’s football home opener on Sept. 20, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.
Moriarty, 81, was convicted last month of several counts of fraud, which prosecutors say were related to a Ponzi scheme that cost investors $22 million.
A former Cal Poly athlete and longtime Mustangs sports booster, Moriarty paid $625,000 in 2009 for naming rights to the new video scoreboard at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Because he filed for bankruptcy protection, Moriarity’s naming rights were transferred to a bankruptcy trustee assigned to pay back creditors. Cal Poly could face punitive damages and a contempt charge if it removes the name, the newspaper said.
In the court motion the school said “Cal Poly is suffering harm by having the name ‘Moriarty Enterprises’ remain on the scoreboard.”
Cal Poly should be allowed to remove the name, the motion argues, because Moriarty acted in bad faith by committing acts of fraud.
In previous documents, attorneys for bankruptcy trustee Michael P. Klein said Moriarty was insolvent at the time he purchased the naming rights. As a result, they said, Cal Poly benefited when it accepted Moriarty’s money because the money was obtained through fraudulent means.
The trustees asked Cal Poly for that $625,000 so it could be directed toward Moriarty’s creditors, but Cal Poly rejected the claim.
If the court doesn’t grant its request, Cal Poly is also negotiating with the Klein to allow it to cover “Moriarty Enterprises” with signs that declare either “#CalPoly” or “Go Cal Poly.”