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American Swimmer Jimmy Feigen: Brazilian Authorities Wanted $46K From Me For My Passport Return

(CBS) More details have emerged surrounding the drama of Ryan Lochte and three other American swimmers being held up at gunpoint by security guards at a gas station in Rio during a drunken incident at the Olympics.

On Wednesday, swimmer Jimmy Feigen -- who was detained on a plane trying to leave Brazil and had his passport seized -- released a statement detailing the negotiations with Brazilian authorities in trying to get his passport back. Authorities initially asked Feigen to pay a fine of around $31,000 to get his passport back and also perform 15 days of community service, Feigen said. After deciding that was unreasonable and it was unsafe to remain in Brazil, Feigen rejected that offer. The Brazilian prosecutor's response was to increase the fine proposal to more than $46,000, Feigen said.

After more negotiations, Feigen agreed to pay a $10,800 fine and got his passport back, then returned to the United States.

Brazilian authorities have maintained Lochte, Feigen and two other American swimmers weren't robbed, though all sides are in agreement that two private security officers pulled guns on the swimmers and asked for money after the drunken swimmers caused havoc at the gas station while returning from a club.

From Feigen regarding the follow-up with authorities:

I was informed by my Brazilian attorney that the police were requesting I make a follow-up statement. I provided the statement at the police station, which included the previous omissions. From there I was taken to the Brazilian court. I waited outside while my attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge met to decide what to do.

I was eventually given two options. Option one was to remain in Brazil while the police continued the investigation. This process was estimated to take at least a month and I would be required to remain in Brazil. Option two was pay a fine of R$100,000.00 ($31,250.00 USD) for the return of my passport and perform fifteen days of community service. I called my American attorneys to discuss what to do. We decided that this amount was unreasonable and due to safety concerns, this offer was also rejected. The prosecutor's response was to increase the fine to R$150,000.00 ($46,875.00 USD).

Finally, all parties agreed to a R$35,000.00 ($10,800.00 USD) fine. This fine was to be paid within three days. If it was not paid, the fine would be increased back to R$150,000.00. I was able to contact my family in the United States along with my American attorneys and we were able to satisfy the payment of the fine the next day. My passport was returned to me after payment was received, and I was able to return home.


In his statement, Feigen also apologized for the "serious distraction" he and his three teammates caused at the gas station, saying he omitted facts in his initial statement to police. Feigen admitted he didn't point out that the group urinated behind the gas station and that Lochte pulled a poster off a wall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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