For as feel-good a story as this whole Michael Vick thing might be (a relative interpretation of the term, that), let’s not lose sight of one fact: the man owes an unholy amount of money. Even the lawyers trying to figure out how much he owes in bankruptcy have requested $2.6 million of their own, which doesn’t make sense until you realize that leprechauns who sell cocaine are a business expense. As for the more obvious clingers-on, well, you know where this story goes.
So even as Vick collects his Eagles paychecks and thanks his lucky stars he doesn’t have to work construction to make his money (like he told a federal judge), it turns out that even being in court has its own debilitating costs. Oh, like you’ve never been told by a judge to pay your own pension plan over $400,000.
From CFO.COM, Vick’s misuse of a pension plan to pay his own legal fees has backfired, to the surprise of nobody:
The U.S. Dept. of Labor has obtained a consent judgment requiring National Football League player Michael Vick and his company, MV7 LLC, to repay at least $416,461 to a pension plan sponsored by the firm. The judgment also requires the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, who served a 23-month prison term and a more than two-year suspension from professional football for his involvement in a dog-fighting operation, to forfeit any rights to benefits from the plan.
The judgment permanently bars Vick and other defendants from serving as a fiduciary to any plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, requires him and the firm to pay all expenses associated with termination of the plan, and appoints an independent fiduciary to manage the plan until it is terminated.
Are you a CFO? Of course not; if you were, you wouldn’t be reading SbB, you’d be banging your trophy wife.
But the gist is this: Vick used money from his own pension fund to help pay for his legal bills. The NFL said “hey let’s just say this never happened.” By that, of course, we mean that the NFL required that no money come from pension, since this is definitely not what it’s meant for. If Vick pays it all back, then did the misdeed really happen? In the NFL’s eyes, no; it does them no good to further punish a player already vilified for one mistake.
But we digress. Also, we have a puzzle for you. Let’s suppose that Vick knew that the only way he was going to get through court and his legal responsibilities was to use pension money that he knew wasn’t his, just to prolong the process until getting that NFL contract money once again. In his position… wouldn’t you?