Wednesday, November 28, 2007
IS MICHAEL VICK GOING BROKE?
(CNN) -- Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick has agreed to pay nearly $1 million for the care of about 54 pit bulls found on his property during a dogfighting raid.
His lawyer William R. Martin said in court documents that Vick will deposit $928,073.04 by Friday to an escrow account.
The money is "to be used to pay whatever restitution money is ultimately ordered in this case," states the document, known as a consent order.
The order was filed a week after federal prosecutors asked a federal court in Virginia to order Vick -- also known as "Ookie" -- to keep that much money on hand to cover the dogs' care.
Vick had agreed under his plea agreement to pay "restitution for the full amount of the costs associated with the disposition of all dogs" in the case.
Those costs, Vick agreed, could include "the long-term care and/or the humane euthanasia of some or all of those animals." They were seized from the Bad Newz Kennels on his property in Surry County, Virginia.
Prosecutors pointed in court documents to Vick's deteriorating financial condition. Among the points cited:
• The Atlanta Falcons' attempt to recoup bonus money from his 10-year, $130 million 2004 football contract,
• Vick's alleged default on a $1.3 million bank loan for a wine store,
• Another bank's lawsuit seeking payment for default on a $2.5 million line of credit,
• A third bank's lawsuit seeking at least $2 million for loans related to a car-rental business.
"In addition, published reports also indicate that Vick is in the process of selling assets, specifically a suburban Atlanta home listed at $4.5 million," the court papers said.
Vick, 27, surrendered November 19 to federal authorities to get a jump start on the sentence for his August guilty plea to a federal conspiracy charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation.
He is being held at Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, until an upcoming sentencing hearing.
Vick pleaded guilty to the federal charge after three associates admitted their own roles in the operation and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
The quarterback, who has been suspended indefinitely by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, faces 12 to 18 months in prison on the conspiracy charge.
On September 25, a Virginia grand jury indicted Vick and the three co-defendants on state charges of running a dogfighting ring.
The Surry County grand jury brought two felony charges against the four men: one count of unlawfully torturing and killing dogs and one of promoting dogfights. Each could result in a five-year prison term.