After reading about former Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick and his serious spending spree before he went to jail, all I can say is wow.
By ALAN JUDD
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The day he went to jail, Michael Vick bought a $99,000 Mercedes.
He cashed four checks that totaled $24,900. He gave $28,000 to the mother of his oldest child. He paid a public relations firm $23,000 and gave a friend $16,000.
Altogether on Nov. 19, 2007, Vick spent $201,840. But for the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, the day was most remarkable for how it ended: behind bars, beginning what would be a nearly two-year sentence in a notorious dogfighting case.
The day’s spending, in fact, was but a small part of the $18.2 million that flew out of Vick’s hands from 2006 to 2008, according to documents filed recently in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Norfolk, Va. Nearing the end of his time in federal prison, Vick, 28, is seeking the court’s protection from his creditors.
They are particularly interested in his increased spending in the three months before he reported for jail.
The documents provide a detailed look at the privileged lifestyle of an athlete who rarely offered more than a glimpse of himself off the playing field. They show how Vick, who grew up poor in Newport News, Va., bought houses and cars, farms and horses, boats and jewelry, all at the height of a spectacular career that shattered after he was identified as the key figure in an illegal dogfighting ring.
The bankruptcy filings also reveal Vick at his most vulnerable. Financial advisers, Vick’s lawyers claim, took advantage of him. He poured money into businesses that failed. He took care of the needs of his relatives, paying for satellite television and cellphone service, for instance, and his mother’s offerings to her church. He even gave each of his three co-defendants in the dogfighting case $150,000 for legal bills.
For his own expenses, Vick seems to have relied heavily on cash.
In 2007, documents show, he used cashier’s checks to withdraw $908,500 from his bank accounts. During a two-year period, he wrote checks payable to “cash” totaling almost $1.1 million.
His spending escalated as his prison sentence neared.
From Aug. 27, 2007, the day he pleaded guilty in a Richmond federal courthouse, until Nov. 19, the day he bought the new Mercedes before reporting to jail, Vick shelled out $3,627,291.
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