The trustee in Michael Vick’s bankruptcy case wants the return of at least $2 million that the NFL quarterback gave to friends and family members in the months before he was sent to federal prison for running a dogfighting operation.
A complaint filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newport News says Vick knew he was about to go to jail and face huge legal bills, yet he continued to shower friends and relatives with gifts and cash, reports the AP. Those assets, trustee Joseph J. Luzinski argues, should have gone to Vick’s creditors.
The trustee’s complaint seeks reimbursement from Vick’s mother, Brenda Boddie; his fiancee and the mother of two of his children, Kijafa Frink; his brother, Marcus; his sister, Christina N. Vick; another relative, Terrance Vick; the mother of his first child, Tameka Taylor; and friends Tommy Reamon and Charles W. Reamon Jr.
“By engaging in the illegal conduct leading to his indictment, the Debtor knew he was engaging in activities certain to pose a threat to his employment and his assets,” the trustee’s complaint says. That threat became a certainty in April 2007, when Vick learned about the federal investigation, Luzinski wrote.
Attorneys for both Vick and the trustee say such filings are not unusual in complicated Chapter 11 cases like Vick’s.
“We are not suing Mike Vick or accusing Mike Vick of fraud,” said Luzinski’s attorney, Ross Reeves. “This is about the proper distribution of assets Vick had before his bankruptcy.”
Vick’s bankruptcy attorney, Paul Campsen, called the filing “a garden-variety attempt to collect money.” He said Vick fully disclosed the transfers, did nothing wrong and will continue to cooperate with the bankruptcy court.
Vick claimed about $20 million in debt when he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2008, while he was serving a 23-month sentence at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan. Last summer, a bankruptcy judge approved a plan that allows Vick to keep $300,000 of his $5.2 million salary from the Philadelphia Eagles with the rest going to creditors.