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Saints Owner Tom Benson’s Assets Frozen by Texas Judge as Family Drama Continues

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Just hours after family members of Tom Benson filed a lawsuit against the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner, a Texas judge has decided to temporarily freeze the proprietor’s assets.

The Benson family drama started yesterday when the big cheese made a change in ownership plans upon his death.  The initial idea was to grant his empire to his granddaughter, Rita Benson LeBlanc.  However, in a letter written by Tom and released by the Saints organization, Mr. Benson looks to hand over the rights to his wife, Gayle.

Rita, Ryan and Renee LeBlanc are the petitioners in the lawsuit, claiming Benson is too old and unfit to manage his personal and business operations with the NFL and NBA franchises.

As for the temporary freeze of his assets, Judge Thomas E. Rickhoff of Bexar County, TX signed a restraining order that prevents Benson from transactions within the Shirley L. Benson Testamentary Trust — Shirley Landry was his first wife who passed away in 1980.

According to the suit filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court and reported by NOLA.com,  Renee Benson, adopted daughter of Tom and first wife Shirley, has worked closely with her father in regards to handling his business interests, including serving as President and owner of Renson Enterprises LLC in San Antonio, TX, a place the Saints were once rumored to move.

Renson manages several of the Benson-owned auto dealerships.  Renee also served as the vice chairman of Bensco Inc., a secondary company that also owns dealerships.  In early January, Tom alerted all of his dealerships to ban Renee and her children (Rita and Ryan) from access to the businesses.  In the restraining order authorized by the Texas judge, Mr. Benson’s wishes to refuse his family’s access to the dealerships have been denied.

The suit also claims that Benson neglected his duties as trustee of the Shirley L. Benson  Testamentary Trust, failing to pay fees and insurance on the properties.  An additional court hearing in regards to the situation is set for Feb. 4.  As the Benson Family drama continues to unfold, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date, Who Dat Nation.

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