Feds: Michael Vick illegally spent pension funds

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RICHMOND, Va. — The U.S. Department of Labor filed complaints accusing suspended NFL star Michael Vick of illegally spending about $1.3 million in pension plan funds for his own benefit, including paying restitution ordered in his dogfighting consp

RICHMOND, Va.  — The U.S. Department of Labor filed complaints accusing suspended NFL star Michael Vick of illegally spending about $1.3 million in pension plan funds for his own benefit, including paying restitution ordered in his dogfighting conspiracy case. The department filed the complaints in federal district and bankruptcy courts on Wednesday, the same day Vick left a federal penitentiary in Kansas, apparently bound for Virginia to appear at a bankruptcy hearing next week. Mark Lichtenstein, one of Vick’s bankruptcy attorneys, declined to comment on both the Labor Department allegations and the details of Vick’s apparent temporary move to Virginia for the April 2 hearing. The Labor Department said Vick made a series of prohibited transfers from a pension plan sponsored by MV7, a celebrity marketing company owned by the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback. The department alleges that Vick violated his duties as trustee of a pension plan that covered nine current or former MV7 employees. "This action sends a message that the Labor Department will not tolerate the misuse of plan money and will take whatever steps necessary to recover the assets owed to eligible workers," Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said in a prepared statement. The department also accused two of Vick’s former financial advisers, Mary R. Wong and David A. Talbot, of participating in some of the transfers. The filing further complicates Vick’s bankruptcy case, which has gradually moved along in Newport News while Vick serves a 23-month prison term. The judge presiding over the bankruptcy case has ordered Vick to testify in person at next week’s hearing on confirmation of his bankruptcy plan. Vick’s plan for paying his creditors is based largely on his intention to resume his NFL career. Vick was suspended indefinitely after his 2007 indictment, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said he will review Vick’s status after he is released. The Falcons still hold the contract rights to Vick but have said they will try to trade him. Vick’s bankruptcy plan would allow him to keep the first $750,000 of his annual pay. After that, a percentage would go to his creditors based on a sliding scale. Vick is scheduled to be released from custody on July 20.

______ In photo: Michael Vick, Aug. 27, 2007

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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