Curt Schilling won't face criminal charges in $112M video-game disaster

Curt Schilling, circa 2012, after his video-game company declared bankruptcy. (AP)
Curt Schilling, circa 2012, after his video-game company declared bankruptcy. (AP)

After a four-year investigation into Curt Schilling’s bungled video-game company, Rhode Island authorities announced Friday that no one involved in the mess that cost taxpayers $112.6 million would face criminal charges.

“A bad deal does not always equate to an indictment,” Col. Steven O’Donnell, the superintendent of the state police, said at a press conference. O’Donnell said the state’s investigation included interviews of more than 100 people and looking through thousands of documents.

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The state police and attorney general’s office were looking for evidence of fraud in the $75-million loan that the state guaranteed in order to lure Schilling’s start-up gaming company, 38 Studios, from Massachusetts to Rhode Island.

An eight-page explanation of the decision included the following:

“The quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”

After Schilling retired from baseball in 2007, he ventured into gaming. In 2010, he opened 38 Studios and by May 2012, after releasing just one game, the company declared bankruptcy and laid off all its workers. Schilling says he lost more than $50 million of his own money in the venture in addition to the $75 million loaned to him by the state. Interest and other costs associated with 38 Studios made the total cost to taxpayers about $112 million.

In September 2012, a federal criminal investigation yielded no charges against Schilling, 38 Studios or any Rhode Island politicians. There’s still a pending civil case against 38 Studios.

Schilling, far left, in 2011 talking at a panel for his game,
Schilling, far left, in 2011 talking at a panel for his game,

Rhode Island’s attorney general Peter Kilmartin, who voted for the loan guarantee as a legislator, announced Friday that none of the documents from the grand-jury proceeding in the 38 Studios case would be made public, a move that surprised some. Kilmartin said while no charges will be filed right now, the case is still open and thus, the documents must be kept private.

Schilling, meanwhile, was up to this usual tricks on Twitter as the news hit that he and his company had basically been found innocent. Schilling is notoriously unfiltered on social media, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he called the investigation a “fake-ass witch hunt.”

Also, in true Schilling fashion, the entire ordeal was quickly compared to Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal, both by Schilling and others.

In other words, it’s back to business as usual for Schilling.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!