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Floyd Landis no longer facing criminal charges for defrauding donors to doping defence fund

Meanwhile Nike fighting subpoenas from Armstrong and federal government in Landis whistleblower case

The criminal case against Floyd Landis for soliciting donations to his legal defence of 2006 doping charges has been dismissed, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Landis had faced up to 20 years in federal prison plus a $1.5 million fine for raising the money while fraudulently claiming he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

Landis entered a three-year deferred prosecution agreement in a San Diego federal court in 2012 which obliged him to repay donors to the Floyd Fairness Fund. Although he still owes $468,000 to over 1,700 people, he has met the terms of the agreement and so criminal charges have been dropped.

According to court records, Landis has so far paid $10,000 of the original $478,354 in restitution. While he is obliged to forfeit a percentage of post-tax income each year, he paid nothing in 2014 or so far in 2015 – an indication that he was financially unable to do so.

However, assistant US attorney Phillip Halpern explained that the underlying restitution agreement was still in force.

“That’s very important. Not because I care about $10,000 dribbling in every now and then – although any time you get money to victims that’s good – but because he is still in line to potentially get enough money to pay back restitution in full.”

Halpern is referring to Landis’s whistleblower case against Lance Armstrong. Landis is accusing Armstrong and others of defrauding the US government when Armstrong was riding for the US Postal Service (USPS) cycling team. Under the False Claims Act, Landis, as the whistleblower who brought the case, would be eligible for a cut – typically between 15 and 30 per cent – of any damages.

With those named in the lawsuit potentially having to repay up to three times the $31 million the team received in sponsorship from the US Postal Service from 1999 to 2004, Landis would clearly be able to make repayments to contributors to the Floyd Fairness Fund if the case were successful.

The deferred prosecution agreement involves a sliding scale of restitution payments based on post-tax income. Landis must forfeit five per cent of income if he makes under $50,000 and 15 per cent between $50,000 and $100,000 with percentages increasing up to a top bracket of 50 per cent for income above $200,000.

Meanwhile, USA Today reports that Nike is fighting subpoenas from both Lance Armstrong and the federal government in the whistleblower case. Both parties want to question the firm, under oath, about its previous sponsorship of Armstrong. However, Nike is keen to protect its information and has asked a federal judge in Oregon to intervene.

In a declaration to court, Nike attorney Mary VanderWeele wrote: “Disclosure of this information could harm Nike’s industry reputation and its relationship with athletes, who expect Nike to maintain the private financial, performance, and related information regarding their relationships with Nike in confidence.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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