Lance Armstrong’s Aspen home collateral in lawsuit settlement
June 21, 2016
A legal feud between Lance Armstrong and a Dallas company that paid him bonuses for three of his Tour de France triumphs spawned a confidential settlement in September, but a public record filed in Aspen this week sheds some light on the agreement that the cyclist says was for $10 million.
A $5 million deed of trust originally was notarized Sept. 16 in Travis County, Texas, as part of Armstrong's settlement with SCA Promotions, a sports insurance firm. It was filed Monday in the Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder's Office, and says the settlement with SCA Promotions included Armstrong's agreement to pay $800,000 by Oct. 31, $2.1 million by March 1, and the remaining $2.1 million by March 1, 2017.
SCA Promotions filed the deed, which uses Armstrong's Aspen home in the West End neighborhood as collateral in the event he doesn't satisfy his scheduled payments.
"When we settled the case, it was for $10 million and they wanted collateral, like a bank, so we put the Aspen home up as collateral in the chance that I didn't pay," Armstrong said Tuesday from Austin.
Armstrong said he is current on his payments for what he said is a $10 million settlement. He said he owes SCA roughly $2 million.
"They're getting their money," he said, noting he has no plans to leave Aspen or sell his home.
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"I'm not going anywhere," he said. "Down the road, we might move there full time."
Less clear is why the deed of trust was filed this week in Aspen.
"That was executed at the time of the settlement in order to make sure it was collateralized," said one of Armstrong's attorneys, Sean E. Breen of Austin. "They're just getting around to filing it now. But it doesn't change anything."
Dallas attorney Jeffrey M. Tillotson, the lead attorney for SCA Promotions in its litigation with Armstrong, declined to comment about the filing because of what was deemed a confidential settlement when it was struck in September.
Armstrong's Aspen residence is a 5,816-square-foot duplex and is listed under the name of 8th One, an Austin-based limited liability company. The names of both Armstrong and 8th One — a play off of the seven Tour de Frances Armstrong won before they were stripped away from him — are listed on the deed of trust.
Armstrong bought the five-bedroom, six-bath duplex for $9.175 million in October 2008, according to property records.
The legal tug of war between Armstrong and SCA dates back to 2004. That year, Armstrong sued SCA for refusing to pay him a $5 million bonus for winning the 2004 Tour. SCA contended he had cheated to win.
SCA, which paid Armstrong for his Tour wins in 2002 and 2003, settled with Armstrong in 2006, agreeing to pay him $7.5 million, according to published reports.
In 2012, however, Armstrong's image crumbled when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped him of his seven Tour titles and banned him for life from professional cycling and other sanctioned events. Armstrong publicly admitted to doping during a January 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The ban on Armstrong and his subsequent confession prompted SCA to sue Armstrong and Tailwind Sports Inc., the owner of the U.S. Postal Service teams that included Armstrong. In February 2013, SCA sued Armstrong and Tailwind to recoup the money it had paid the cyclist, as well as other damages. In February 2015, an arbitration panel ordered Armstrong pay $10 million to SCA — $7.5 million for the SCA payment to Armstrong, $2 million in fees and costs, and the remaining $500,000 for "additional costs insusceptible of precise calculation," according to records in Dallas County District Court, the venue for the case.
Armstrong and Tailwind filed a motion in March 2015 to have the court vacate the arbitration panel's award, but in September the parties hatched an undisclosed resolution.
"While the terms of the settlement are confidential, I can say that the settlement was mutually acceptable to all parties," Armstrong said in a statement at the time. "I am pleased to have this matter behind me, and I look forward to moving on. I do wish to personally apologize to SCA and its CEO, Bob Hamman, for any past misconduct on my part in connection with our dispute and the resulting arbitration."
Armstrong, when talking to The Aspen Times on Tuesday, said he had hoped the SCA litigation was behind him.
"I'm very surprised I'm getting questions about SCA, but it is what it is," he said.
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