Rhode Island businessman and candidate for governor Giovanni Feroce is facing a lawsuit from the Buffalo Bills.
The NFL team claims that while Feroce was the CEO of Benrus, the company agreed to a $1 million sponsorship deal, but only paid $87,000.
In a statement, Feroce placed the blame for the situation on Michael Sweeney, a former attorney and agent for Benrus who later formed a new company, Benrus Holdings, that purchased the Benrus trademark after Feroce’s enterprise lost control of it.
Feroce insisted that both he and the Bills had been “snookered” by Sweeney, and said he will be pursuing legal action to ensure fair treatment as an “investor” and “creditor.”
Sarah Kennedy, a spokesperson for Sweeney’s Benrus Holdings, shot back that Feroce’s assertions “continue his pattern of flailing about for a scapegoat for his own failings – he presents one set of facts, while the courts, the evidence and reality reflect something completely different.”
“The Bills claim is against the court-appointed receiver for Mr. Feroce’s failed Benrus venture, who will sift through the financial wreckage and unpaid debts he left behind,” she said. “Benrus Holdings, a completely different company formed late last year, has filed a motion to dismiss which we expect will be granted.”
This story has been updated.