Report: Armstrong associates agree to settle with US government

Approval needed for proposed deal with Bill Stapleton, Bart Knaggs

Two of the defendants in a lawsuit filed by former Lance Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis have agreed to pay the US government $500,000 as part of a conditional settlement agreement, according to a report Friday in USA Today.

Armstrong's agent, Bill Stapleton, and Bart Knaggs, his longtime business partner, have also agreed to pay $100,000 to the law office of Paul Scott, Landis' attorney. The US government must OK the deal, but if approved it would release Stapleton, Knaggs and their Capital Sports & Entertainment agency from Landis' lawsuit.

The government has until January 30 to tell the presiding judge whether it will accept the settlement, according to the USA Today report.

“The settlement agreement would require the dismissal of the action against the Settling Defendants, which, under the False Claims Act, requires the written consent of the Attorney General of the United States,” USA Today quotes the government as stating in court documents.

The suit, which was filed in 2010, accuses Armstrong of defrauding the US government when the former seven-time Tour de France winner was riding for the US Postal Service. The government joined Landis' lawsuit last year, and under the False Claims Act, damages could be tripled to nearly $100 million. As the whistleblower who filed the case, Landis would be eligible for part of any damages awarded.

Even if the government and judge accept settlement proposal from Stapleton and Knaggs, the case against Armstrong and Tailwind Sports, the company that managed US Postal, would continue.

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