Friday, November 16, 2007
Vick's infamous Virginia home sold for well below assessed value
By Len Pasquarelli
The property owned by banished Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick in Surry County, Va., has been purchased as an investment and will be auctioned on Dec. 15, five days after the suspended quarterback is sentenced for his role in an illegal dogfighting ring.
As first reported by the Daily Press of Newport News, and confirmed Friday by a member of the Vick camp, the 4,600-square foot home was sold to Todd Builders of Carrollton, Va. The owner of the company, Wilbur Todd Jr., paid $450,000 for the house, which previously had been assessed at $747,000.
Vick purchased the 15-acre tract in 2001 for $34,000, and the house in which his cousin then lived was built two years later. It is not known when the separate buildings, some of which were apparently used for dogfighting, were constructed.
A deed finalizing the sale was filed Thursday in Surry County.
Although he has spent much of the past several months living with his family in Virginia, where he is said to be working out regularly and awaiting his sentencing, Vick recently purchased a Miami condominium. Sources said that his legal team, after considering the possibility of having his sentencing moved to an earlier date, have dropped those attempts.
The real estate agent who assisted Todd in the acquisition of the property called it "the most famous house in America today," but did not say how much he felt it will bring at auction. "You can ask people from coast to coast which house in the most notorious in the country today, and it's this house," real estate agent Kyle Hause told The Daily Press.
When investigators seized 66 dogs during a raid this spring, and Vick became the focus of an investigation on the state and federal levels, he decided to sell the property. There were reports that the home had been sold only a few days later, and that the identity of the buyer would be a surprise, but sources close to Vick told ESPN.com at the time that there was no sales agreement.
Vick and three friends have pleaded guilty to federal charges, and face five years in jail, although it is expected the former first-round pick will draw a sentence more in the range of 18 months. He also faces state charges and has been indefinitely suspended by the league.
An arbitrator ruled last month that the Falcons can attempt to recover $19.97 million in bonuses paid to Vick as part of the 10-year, $130 million contract extension he signed on Christmas Eve 2004. Vick is also being sued by three banks, all of them claiming that he and various partners have defaulted on loans.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.