I trained with John DeLaO quite a bit back in the late nineties. From what I remember John's story is as followed.
Way back in the day John DeLaO trained with Reylson Gracie and Rodrigo Gracie, along with Ken Gabrielson, and often travelled with Reylson as his partner to do seminars (DeLaO was a Purple belt through Brown belt at the time).
DeLaO had a falling out with the Gracies over typical business/ political reasons, and ended up recieving his Black Belt originally from Ken Gabrielson. John and Ken then had a falling out and Ken supposedly took John's Black Belt back or denied giving it to him, etc.
Then about 4 or 5 years ago he wanted to continue being ranked under someone and Joe Moreira gave him his 2nd degree.
I like John as a person, and I have no idea how acurate the story is, but that is basically what I was told.