Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner and his wife Donya filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the District of Nevada on December 30th, 2022.
According to the public filing, Lehner estimates the worth of his assets between $1-10 million while his liability to creditors is between $10-50 million.
In the bankruptcy filing documents, Lehner is said to be the owner of RL Exotics LLC, “which operates a reptile farm in Plato, Missouri, which is an operating business with 3 employees, and which requires reptiles to be maintained and fed.”
Lehner was first linked to snakes back in 2017 when he reportedly purchased a collection of exotic snakes for $1.2 million.
Renick agreed to sell his snakes, ball pythons and anacondas, to NHL goalie Robin Lehner in early 2017 for $1.2 million. Lehner would pay Renick in quarterly installments of $200,000 throughout the year. Lehner made one such payment in February 2017. –Article by Lucas Geisler of KMIZ in St. Louis, Missouri
The man mentioned, Ben Renick, was murdered in June 2017 by his wife Lynlee Renick who was subsequently found guilty of the charges and sentenced to 16 years in prison. According to KMIZ, following Renick’s death, a lawsuit was filed against Lehner in 2018 after he stopped making payments for the snakes.
Lehner countersued in December of that year, claiming that he took on millions of dollars in costs taking care of Renick’s animals. At some point after Ben’s death, he said, the snakes “began breeding amongst one another in an unsupervised, uncontrolled manner.” That caused the collection of snakes to lose value, but Lehner’s attorneys did not specify by how much.
Renick Reptiles then claimed in July 2019 that at some point, Lehner “stole a collection of anacondas [from] Renick Reptiles’ place of business (as well as taking the collection of ball pythons that Lehner refused to pay for).” The lawsuit does not say how many snakes were allegedly taken.
The two sides suddenly announced a settlement in November 2019. A filing in the Montgomery County estate case from that August said the two sides had reached a settlement, but wanted to keep the terms of it confidential. Laiderman wrote that both sides wanted to “complete [Lehner]’s purchase of the [snakes].” –Article by Lucas Geisler of KMIZ in St. Louis, Missouri
In 2019, Lehner formed RL Exotics LLC and the company has been operating since.
Listed among the potentially interested parties in the bankruptcy filing include the Vegas Golden Knights, Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, the National Hockey League, Newport Sports Management, and a financial company called Sure Sports Lending.
Sure Sports Lending describes itself as an agency that “specializes in low-interest, unsecured loans and contract advances to Professional Athletes in the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL, and MLS based on their player contracts.”
This is the same company that was sued by the trustee assigned to oversee Evander Kane’s bankruptcy.
Sure Sports over 10 months crossing between 2018 and 2019 arranged nearly $14 million in loans to Kane, according to court filings. Kane in early 2021 filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, declaring $26.8 million in liabilities and unleashing an ongoing vitriolic process between creditors and the hockey star who recently signed with the Edmonton Oilers. Sure Sports itself filed as a creditor, seeking nearly $1.2 million it alleged Kane owed in fees. –Article by Daniel Kaplan in The Athletic
The article also links Sure Sports to defaulted loans with NFL running back Adrian Peterson and MLS left-back Kemar Lawrence.
The bankruptcy claims that Lehner’s debts are “primarily based on business debts that were incurred to help obtain money for a business or investment.”
In an email to SinBin.vegas, the attorney representing Robin Lehner says both the Golden Knights’ team counsel and creditors have been made aware of the bankruptcy filing.
**The initial headline to this story read Robin Lehner Files For Bankruptcy Due To Ownership Of Exotic Snake Farm, it has been changed to “in connection with” after more information about the case became public.**