Saturday, October 20, 2007


LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Michael Vick, banned from the National Football League after pleading guilty to federal dogfighting charges, has put his Georgia mansion up for sale. The celebrity gossip website said Friday that the onetime Atlanta Falcons quarterback was seeking 4.5 million-dollars for the house, located on waterfront property in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth and featuring seven bedrooms and 8 1/2 bathrooms. The European-style home also features a white, stucco exterior, Cathedral ceilings, two fireplaces, hardwood floors, a two-story foyer and a garage for at least four cars. The home was built in 2004. It carries a monthly mortgage of $23,063 and the annual property taxes are $26,700. TMZ said Vick's estimated monthly payment on the property topped 23,000 dollars.

A source close to Vick said that, while the banished quarterback has not conceded that he won't resume his career with the Falcons at some point in the future, he has spent very little time lately in the Atlanta area. Instead, Vick, who has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL, has mostly been with family in his hometown of Newport News, Va., where he is awaiting sentencing in December after pleading guilty to federal dogfighting charges. Vick also faces state charges in Virginia stemming from the dogfighting activities to which he has admitted in federal court.

Within the past five weeks, three banks, most recently Wachovia Bank, have filed suit against Vick and other defendants connected to him, charging that he has defaulted on loans.

Vick, whose merchandise was once among the most coveted by NFL fans, was summarily dropped by sponsors Nike and Reebok in the wake of the unsavory dogfighting charges against him, which included killing animals that did not perform well in fights.

Vick formally pleaded guilty on August 27 to involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring, and he is due to be sentenced on December 10. While Vick faces up to five years in jail on the charges of organizing dogfighting and conducting an enterprise including gambling and the sponsoring and transporting of dogs in dogfighting operations, prosecutors have said they will recommend a sentence of between one year and 18 months.

Not only was Vick banned by the NFL after his guilty plea, but the Falcons are also trying to reclaim almost 20 million dollars in bonuses from the man who was once the face of their franchise.Earlier this month, an arbitrator ruled that the Falcons have the grounds to try to recoup the money, because it applied to future services which the now-suspended player cannot provide.

The NFL Players Association plans to appeal that ruling.


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