According to the Columbus Dispatch, before Johnson signed his seven-year, $30.5 million deal in 2011, he granted power of attorney to his mother, Tina Johnson, that gave her full control of his finances.
Jack Johnson claims that Tina Johnson and his father Jack Sr. bought a house in Manhattan Beach, California, with his money but without the player's knowledge, according to the report. In addition, Johnson's parents borrowed $15 million against their son's future earnings. Many of the loans carried high interest rates, according to the Dispatch. The mortgage on the house carried a 12 percent rate, while a loan for $3 million was at 24 percent, leading to huge fees and, ultimately, default.
Johnson has listed the home in Manhattan Beach for sale at $1.65 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to documents filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District Court of Ohio that were obtained by ESPN.com, the 27-year-old Johnson has little left of the almost $18 million he has earned throughout his nine-year NHL career. His future earnings also appear compromised because of a tremendous amount of debt incurred, with court documents showing a list of creditors with unsecured claims totaling more than $1.68 million.
In the filing, Johnson claims assets of less than $50,000 and total debts of more than $10 million.
The Dispatch reported, through a source, that Johnson has cut off all contact with his family.
"I'd say I picked the wrong people who led me down the wrong path," Johnson told The Dispatch last week. "I've got people in place who are going to fix everything now. It's something I should have done a long time ago."
Johnson dropped former agent Pat Brisson in 2008.
Represented by Columbus-based attorney Marc Kessler, Johnson is reportedly now surrounded by financial advisers and a legal team retained to protect his interests.
According to the Dispatch story, Johnson's parents also spent money on cars, upgrades to the California home and travel costs while following their son as he played for the Los Angeles Kings and Blue Jackets.
According to one source familiar with the situation, there were warning signs early on during Johnson's professional career, but the scenario is not altogether uncommon with hockey parents who have invested a lot in their children's futures.
"It happens way more than it should," the source told ESPN.com.
The parents are named in the suit as among Johnson's creditors, but he is reportedly not interested in pursuing criminal charges against them. According to the Dispatch story, he is worried about the welfare of his 16-year-old brother, who lives with his parents in Michigan.
Johnson has petitioned to maintain his existing bank accounts so as to continue payment for living expenses, with court documents revealing that, at the date of petition, he carried a balance of $6,339 in his checking account and $2,202.62 in his savings account.
The former first-round pick, who has seven assists in 15 games this season, has three seasons remaining on the $30.5 million deal.
ESPN's Paula Lavigne and Scott Burnside contributed to this report.