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Tony Finau being sued for $16 million


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https://www.golfchannel.com/news/report-tony-finau-sued-16-million-former-financial-backer


 

PGA Tour veteran Tony Finau is being sued for more than $16 million by a former business associate who helped cover expenses during the early part of his pro career.

According to a Deseret News report, the suit was filed by 55-year-old Molonai Hola, who owns Icon Sports and got to know the Finau family in the early 90s when Finau, now 31, was still in grade school. Hola reportedly "began financing expenses" for both Tony and his younger brother, Gipper, which included mortgage payments, medical insurance, a new car and living expenses "for approximately a year" while the family moved to Florida to allow the brothers to take lessons from David Leadbetter. According to the lawsuit, filed in district court, those expenses totaled more than $592,000 over several years.

Hola claims he had an agreement with the family to be paid back but has yet to be compensated. Additionally, he claims to have been promised 20 percent of future professional earnings for both Tony and Gipper, leading to the suit's claim of "at least $16 million" to recoup the money Hola paid, plus interest and compensatory damages.

Finau has made more than $20.2 million in his career across the Korn Ferry and PGA Tour, and while he turned pro in 2007 at age 17 the vast majority of those earnings have come since he reached the PGA Tour in 2015. Finau's lone Tour win came in 2016 and he has made at least $2.9 million in on-course earnings for each of the last four seasons. Ranked No. 14 in the world, Finau finished T-8 at last week's U.S. Open.

"We are aware of the matter and have the utmost faith in the legal process," Finau's agent, Chris Armstrong, reportedly said in a statement. "We will not be making further comment at this time."

 

 

 

Being promised 20% seems like a bit of a stretch. 

Edited by MillerLowLife
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I'm pretty sure that he did back TF, but the dollar amount he's suing for lost me.  $16M off of an almost $600K investment isn't reasonable.  I hope this was just a dollar amount to get attention to h

You mean like the vast majority of tour players who essentially grew up on the golf course (private or otherwise)?. Just throwing a number out there, but I'd say 80-85% of tour players would not be on

lol, give me a break. Even if this "handshake" occurred it, it was either with a minor or with TF's parent's on behalf of their son because he was in fact a minor. In that case, the only one with ques

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This will e settled out of court. 
 

 

It’s hard to believe he’s only won once on the PGA Tour. 

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1 minute ago, Krt22 said:

You mean like the vast majority of tour players who essentially grew up on the golf course (private or otherwise)?. Just throwing a number out there, but I'd say 80-85% of tour players would not be on tour if it weren't for well heeled financial backers supporting them early in their careers (family or otherwise)


Tony Finau himself did some level of backing for Utah guy on kornferry tour. Totally agree with you there.

 

I do wonder if this backer paid that much money out of his own pocket really not get anything back at this point? 

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10 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

You mean like the vast majority of tour players who essentially grew up on the golf course (private or otherwise)?. Just throwing a number out there, but I'd say 80-85% of tour players would not be on tour if it weren't for well heeled financial backers supporting them early in their careers (family or otherwise)

I would also bet that most of those guys have contracts to protect themselves from lawsuits such as this one.

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20% of future earnings for what?  Forever? hahaha.  Good luck finding a judge in the United States that will go along with that  

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Needs to be in a written contract with the parents, But I would imagine that once Finau became an adult, he needed to have a contract with Tony. 

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8 minutes ago, llewol007 said:

Needs to be in a written contract with the parents, But I would imagine that once Finau became an adult, he needed to have a contract with Tony. 

 

It seems like a stunt to get some quick cash from a successful player.  If the guy did invest then by all means compensate him but $16million number is outrageous and laughable.

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It is too bad that the word of a man is no longer any good.  Looks like integrity is the value that is fading the fastest within society.  If you agree to such a stipulation as to 20% of future earnings, then that is not a bright decision.  20% of $22 million is $4.4 million and still quite a chunk of change.  I believe that if there is proof of the "20% of future earnings" then the judge should award the $4.4 million plus the $592,000 in expenses (granted those can be proven as well).  The courts require documentation.  Only the financier and the Finau's know the truth.  It is a bad time that we now live it as well where mere accusations will smear an individuals reputation. 

 

It really is too bad how far society has fallen.

 

I wish we could go back to the day of handshake deals actually meaning somethings and both individuals had the character to honor those deals.

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2 minutes ago, J13 said:

 

It seems like a stunt to get some quick cash from a successful player.  If the guy did invest then by all means compensate him but $16million number is outrageous and laughable.

Yeah pretty much. Even if there was a written contract, I'm pretty sure anything signed by parents to relinquish future earnings of a child once they are an adult, would hold zero weight in court. Seems like this guy sat on it for 20+ years, waited for TF to get  pretty big, then pull this to get some quick go away money

Given the large sum being asked, I am guessing the real out of pocket amount was much less than he is stating. 

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1 minute ago, Krt22 said:

lol, give me a break. Even if this "handshake" occurred it, it was either with a minor or with TF's parent's on behalf of their son because he was in fact a minor. In that case, the only one with questionable character would be the guy filing the lawsuit , since he was essentially trying to take advantage of a minor.

This feels "dirty" like Lebraun James getting HumVee's in high school kind of thing, doesn't it?

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13 minutes ago, jimbonecrusher said:

It is too bad that the word of a man is no longer any good.  Looks like integrity is the value that is fading the fastest within society.  If you agree to such a stipulation as to 20% of future earnings, then that is not a bright decision.  20% of $22 million is $4.4 million and still quite a chunk of change.  I believe that if there is proof of the "20% of future earnings" then the judge should award the $4.4 million plus the $592,000 in expenses (granted those can be proven as well).  The courts require documentation.  Only the financier and the Finau's know the truth.  It is a bad time that we now live it as well where mere accusations will smear an individuals reputation. 

 

It really is too bad how far society has fallen.

 

I wish we could go back to the day of handshake deals actually meaning somethings and both individuals had the character to honor those deals.

 

 

Those days are long gone.  Look at the state of affairs in our country lol.  Parents can't legally sign away their childs future earnings.  Doesn't work that way and it's highly illegal and even with a contract wouldn't hold up in the court.

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Or, Tony has been counting on the “but I was a minor” defense for years. I would guess the,original agreement was something along the lines of 20% of future earnings until he received twice the original investments. So if he really paid $529k then he would be capped at about $1m. 
But I agree the likely solution will be a settlement. If it can be done for a reasonable sum...to me in this situation the $1m should be reasonable to TF....this would all go away.

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28 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

Yeah pretty much. Even if there was a written contract, I'm pretty sure anything signed by parents to relinquish future earnings of a child once they are an adult, would hold zero weight in court. Seems like this guy sat on it for 20+ years, waited for TF to get  pretty big, then pull this to get some quick go away money

Given the large sum being asked, I am guessing the real out of pocket amount was much less than he is stating. 


the kicker is that it also includes his brother Gipper. So the guy seems to be suing Tony for the entire expense amount for both him and his brother. I’d like to know how the original agreement was reached: if it was verbal and between the only people who could create a legally binding agreement (the parents), I’d think Tony could laugh at the guy, tell him to sue his parents and go pound sand. 

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34 minutes ago, jimbonecrusher said:

It is too bad that the word of a man is no longer any good.  Looks like integrity is the value that is fading the fastest within society.  If you agree to such a stipulation as to 20% of future earnings, then that is not a bright decision.  20% of $22 million is $4.4 million and still quite a chunk of change.  I believe that if there is proof of the "20% of future earnings" then the judge should award the $4.4 million plus the $592,000 in expenses (granted those can be proven as well).  The courts require documentation.  Only the financier and the Finau's know the truth.  It is a bad time that we now live it as well where mere accusations will smear an individuals reputation. 

 

It really is too bad how far society has fallen.

 

I wish we could go back to the day of handshake deals actually meaning somethings and both individuals had the character to honor those deals.

 

It's too bad this Financial Backer actually thought he could hold a Minor to a contract/handshake that he made with said minors parents. If the guy is having a hard time recouping his 592K that's not a good look for Finau. Beyond that, it's gold digging at its finest. I say cut him a check for 1MM, thank him, and be done.

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2 hours ago, jimbonecrusher said:

It is too bad that the word of a man is no longer any good.  Looks like integrity is the value that is fading the fastest within society.  If you agree to such a stipulation as to 20% of future earnings, then that is not a bright decision.  20% of $22 million is $4.4 million and still quite a chunk of change.  I believe that if there is proof of the "20% of future earnings" then the judge should award the $4.4 million plus the $592,000 in expenses (granted those can be proven as well).  The courts require documentation.  Only the financier and the Finau's know the truth.  It is a bad time that we now live it as well where mere accusations will smear an individuals reputation. 

 

It really is too bad how far society has fallen.

 

I wish we could go back to the day of handshake deals actually meaning somethings and both individuals had the character to honor those deals.

This society is long gone with word of a man. Court systems dont recognize that. This guy sounds shady for sure. Not setting a new contract when Tony became an adult. Sounded like he was gonna use hear say with what Tonys parent told him. If he spent over half a million dollars on Tony and his brother and didnt get anything in writing is already popping red flags of being on an episode of Judge Judy

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1 hour ago, jimbonecrusher said:

It is too bad that the word of a man is no longer any good.  Looks like integrity is the value that is fading the fastest within society.  If you agree to such a stipulation as to 20% of future earnings, then that is not a bright decision.  20% of $22 million is $4.4 million and still quite a chunk of change.  I believe that if there is proof of the "20% of future earnings" then the judge should award the $4.4 million plus the $592,000 in expenses (granted those can be proven as well).  The courts require documentation.  Only the financier and the Finau's know the truth.  It is a bad time that we now live it as well where mere accusations will smear an individuals reputation. 

 

It really is too bad how far society has fallen.

 

I wish we could go back to the day of handshake deals actually meaning somethings and both individuals had the character to honor those deals.

Don't judge too quick. This is one mans word that could be false as well. 

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Just now, QuigleyDU said:

Don't judge too quick. This is one mans word that could be false as well. 

Exactly.  I doubt this man is truly the victim that he's making himself out to be.

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3 minutes ago, tbowles411 said:

Exactly.  I doubt this man is truly the victim that he's making himself out to be.

 

He may be. I don't know. Everything I have ever seen has shown Tony to be a wonderful human being but who knows. We need more info before making harsh or quick judgements on either person. 

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