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Lax World - 16 Store Closing - Chapter 7 bankruptcy 

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Lax World Closed - Execs File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Summary

Updated: March 2018

Lax World CEO Frank Barbarino filed for voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection last month, the latest development in the saga of the troubled lacrosse retailer.

Barbarino listed liabilities between $1 million and $10 million in a Feb. 11 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland. He also listed assets of between $500,000 and $1 million. The former Jos. A. Bank senior vice president and general merchandise manager led the group that bought Lax World in 2013.

Robert "Bobby" Martino, a former professional lacrosse player who was chief operating officer of Lax World, and Michael Stewart, another former Jos. A. Bank executive who was an executive at Lax World, previously filed for Chapter bankruptcy protection in January. Robert Grossbart, an attorney at Grossbart, Portney & Rosenberg representing all three executives, could not be reached for comment.

Lax World has not filed bankruptcy. The Cockeysville-based retailer closed all 16 of its stores in Maryland, Colorado, Georgia, New York and Washington state in 2017. Vendors, landlords and Johns Hopkins University have filed lawsuits against Lax World, claiming the company owes them hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid debts.

Barbarino's liabilities total $1.14 million, including $780,355 in unsecured claims.

The biggest debt — $500,000 — is owed Cascade Maverik Lacrosse LLC. The company filed a federal lawsuit last year claiming Lax World and its executives owed $500,619 as of Oct. 12 for unpaid invoices.

Court documents show the parties agreed to a $466,257 settlement on Feb. 7. Lax World and its executives also owed $74,044 for interest, attorney's fees and court costs.

Barbarino owes McCarthy's Hockey and Lacrosse $105,000, according to the bankruptcy filing.


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STX LLC, a Baltimore lacrosse manufacturer, has a $100,000 unsecured claim. STX filed a lawsuit in January claiming Lax World owes more than $89,000 for products it did not return after closing its stores.

Other creditors include Warrior Sports, Square Capital, KMC-O Property LLC and First Data. Barbarino also lists a $9,522 debt with American Express and a $16,981 for his Chase credit card.

Barbarino has a 9 percent ownership stake in Lax World, according to the filing. He reported gross income of $133,524 in 2017, and claims he lost $243,175 in 2016.

Barbarino disclosed in the filing that he paid $2,500 each to Martino and Stewart to cover their bankruptcy legal fees.

For Barbarino, the filing represents a surprising fall from the big plans he had for Lax World. When he, Martino and Stewart bought Lax World, Barbarino said he had identified 50 or 60 locations where the company could open stores over the next few years.

After Lax World expanded into Colorado in 2016, Barbarino doubled down on his previous statement saying there were plans to expand into several other markets.

For 30 years Lax World branded itself as "the first lacrosse store."

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