The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

April 24, 2013

Justice says Armstrong was 'unjustly enriched'

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The federal government is going after Lance Armstrong's money. As much as it can get.

The Justice Department unveiled its formal complaint against Armstrong on Tuesday, saying the cyclist violated his contract with the U.S. Postal Service and was "unjustly enriched" while cheating to win the Tour de France.

The government had previously announced it would join a whistle-blower lawsuit brought by former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis under the federal False Claims Act. Tuesday was the deadline to file its formal complaint.

The Postal Service paid about $40 million to be the title sponsor of Armstrong's teams for six of his seven Tour de France victories. The filing in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., says the USPS paid Armstrong $17 million from 1998-2004.

The lawsuit also names former team Armstrong team director Johan Bruyneel and team management company Tailwind Sports as defendants.

"Defendants were unjustly enriched to the extent of the payments and other benefits they received from the USPS, either directly or indirectly," the complaint said.

The financial costs for Armstrong and Bruyneel could be high. The government said it would seek triple damages assessed by the jury. Armstrong has been dropped by his personal sponsors and left the cancer-fighting foundation he started in 1997.

Armstrong had previously tried to negotiate a settlement, but those talks fell through before the government announced it would join the Landis lawsuit. Settlement talks could resume as the case proceeds to trial.

Armstrong, who in January admitted using performance-enhancing drugs after years of denials, has argued that the Postal Service's endorsement of his team earned the government agency far more than it paid him.

Armstrong attorney Elliot Peters called the government's complaint "opportunistic" and "insincere."

Text Only
Sports
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee