Bankruptcy trustee Joseph J. Luzinski is seeking the repayment of at least $2 million to the bankruptcy estate that NFL quarterback Michael Vick doled out to various family members and friends only months before he was sent to federal prison for running a dog fighting operation and eventually filed bankruptcy.
A complaint filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newport News says Vick knew his lucrative career was in jeopardy and that he would be facing huge legal bills, yet he continued to shower friends and relatives with gifts and cash. 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.
The claim leveled against these individuals is another perfect example of why debtors should not transfer assets right before filing bankruptcy. If the bankruptcy trustee is successful with this claim, the individuals named here will be forced to repay the money they received from Michael Vick to the bankruptcy estate even if they cannot afford to do so. Transferring assets right before filing bankruptcy even in the form of gifts and cash not only jeopardizes your bankruptcy case but can also jeopardize the financial and legal status of those you transfer the assets to.