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Sapp says his choice was bankruptcy or jail

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In his first public comments regarding a recent bankruptcy filing sparked by $6.7 million in reported debt, former NFL defensive lineman Warren Sapp says that he had two options.

Do you think I wanted to declare bankruptcy?” Sapp tells Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times.  “Do you think if there was any other way possible I would have done it?  It was either this or go to jail.  Those were my choices.”

Sapp explained that a construction deal gone bad resulted in 100 percent of his NFL Network earnings being garnished for 11 months.  “You tell me what to do,” Sapp said.  “Do you keep working without a check?  If you don’t pay your child support, you go to jail.  This wasn’t something I wanted to do. This was something I had to do.”

Sapp also addressed skepticism regarding the claim that he lost his Super Bowl ring, since it otherwise would now be sold to satisfy his debts.

“Is it so unbelievable that I misplaced my ring?” Sapp said.  “I wore it for 365 days, and we had a 7-9 season [in Tampa Bay in 2003] and I went to Oakland and I took it off.  You never saw me with it anywhere.  The only time I brought it out was when the NFL Network wanted us to wear it.

“We were at the Super Bowl, and I thought I handed it to someone, and he said I didn’t.  I checked my luggage to see if it was in a side pocket.  I checked my suit to see if I put it somewhere.  What was I going to do?  Yell and scream because I lost a ring?  That ring didn’t make me a champion.  Derrick Brooks, Simeon Rice, Ronde Barber, Brian Kelly, Dwight Smith.  That crew made me a champion.”

Sapp seems to resent the implication that he’s not being honest about the whereabouts of the ring.

“In my life, has anyone called me a liar?  Why would I start now?  Someone told me something that John Adams supposedly said.  Facts are stubborn,” Sapp said.  “I like facts.”

One fact that he doesn’t run from is the presence of a large painting of a naked woman in his bedroom, the asset that has gotten the most attention from his bankruptcy filing.

“I’m not an interior decorator,” Sapp said. “Some designer put that on the wall, and I liked it. It’s in my bedroom.  By the time a woman gets there, she might be naked, too.”

Of course, if there hadn’t been so many naked women in his bedroom, he wouldn’t have the kind of legal obligations that forced him to choose between bankruptcy and jail.

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88 Responses to “Sapp says his choice was bankruptcy or jail”
  1. qj1984 says: Apr 14, 2012 12:25 PM

    Warrer, Jeremy Shockey called you liar less than a month ago.

  2. timmillah says: Apr 14, 2012 12:25 PM

    PrettY sure Jeremy Shockey called him a liar recently.

  3. rooney24 says: Apr 14, 2012 12:26 PM

    Now, sounds like he will be out at NFL network soon. What’s left for this guy? A reality show with Tiki Barber?

  4. sshettig says: Apr 14, 2012 12:26 PM

    Roger goodell called you liar warren, about outing shockey…….

  5. buddyjake says: Apr 14, 2012 12:26 PM

    It would probably be cheaper for Sapp to go to jail then to file bankruptcy

  6. Bearfan54 says: Apr 14, 2012 12:27 PM

    I want to believe that Sapp is hiding something and he probably could have handled his money better. But he is right about having to claim bankruptcy or go to jail. Many large companies file bankruptcy and its called a business decision and no one questions it. But the human being who made some honest mistakes and needs a fresh start claims bankruptcy and everyone wants to crucify him.

  7. kwgator says: Apr 14, 2012 12:28 PM

    Take Bankruptcy Now … Jail will be there later for you

  8. ckacv111 says: Apr 14, 2012 12:29 PM

    Or, he could have paid his bills…

  9. thingamajig says: Apr 14, 2012 12:32 PM

    Poor poor me. Not my fault, as you can see I’m just a victum here.

  10. ravenator says: Apr 14, 2012 12:33 PM

    Wow seriously, this guy is a joke. I cannot fathom how you could be so stupid with your money even after you’ve seen the downfalls of those who came before you. Sapp should and will be crucified. Good luck finding employment on any other network.

  11. pb420 says: Apr 14, 2012 12:52 PM

    A fool and his money soon part ways. It’s rather unfortunate that this statement will always ring true.

  12. scott8nj says: Apr 14, 2012 12:52 PM

    I always find it interesting when people who have enough money to be set for life, gamble it on a “construction deal” to make more and wind up broke. Just sayin.

  13. sitbackandwatch says: Apr 14, 2012 12:53 PM

    Facts?…like Outing Shockey as the snitch? Maybe he meant, ” I like fiction.”

  14. pleasantsurpriselefty says: Apr 14, 2012 12:58 PM

    If he thinks his life is hard now, wait till he is unemployed and unemployable is August. He has clearly been attending the T.O. school of life management. Best of luck chump, you are going to need it.

    Over/under on how long before he tells a police officer, “Don’t you know who I am?): 6 months.

  15. 7to10for6allday says: Apr 14, 2012 12:59 PM

    Stop banging sack chasers warren….if you weren’t doing that, you wouldn’t be in this mess. It’s a shame, bc I liked him on nfl network more than those other clowns besides rich eisen.

  16. lawyermalloy says: Apr 14, 2012 12:59 PM

    Burger King is hireing!

  17. dewman13 says: Apr 14, 2012 1:01 PM

    And he knows where that ring is! plzzz Maybe his dog ate it? Warren has been an arse to fans for so long it’s very hard to find pity for him!

  18. bigpara says: Apr 14, 2012 1:02 PM

    Maybe him and Canseco’s twin brother can box for some extra cash now. Or better yet Warren or Shockey in a boxing match.

  19. tunescribe says: Apr 14, 2012 1:02 PM

    Great last line about too many naked women, Florio. But really, what kind of “sap” would have a painting of a naked woman in his bedroom unless it’s the one he’s married to?

  20. cacheesehead1237 says: Apr 14, 2012 1:03 PM

    Do you think I wanted to declare bankruptcy?” Sapp tells Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times.

    “Do you think if there was any other way possible I would have done it?

    Do you keep working without a check?

    “Is it so unbelievable that I misplaced my ring?”

    What was I going to do?

    “In my life, has anyone called me a liar?

    Why would I start now?

    ……… it me, or does Sapp ask a lot of questions?

  21. electionconfidential says: Apr 14, 2012 1:04 PM

    Bad human being all around imo.

  22. dryzzt23 says: Apr 14, 2012 1:12 PM

    A construction deal cuased the loss of $495,000 in NFLN salary?

    He needs to fire his agent/lawyer b/che should have been advised to form a company and declare as an LLC.

  23. jaymind04 says: Apr 14, 2012 1:12 PM

    I can’t envision a less sympathetic situation: a millionaire who can’t manage his own massive wealth.

  24. melikefootball says: Apr 14, 2012 1:13 PM

    Yes I do think you wanted to file…you have become airrogant, self absorbed X football player. You threw so many X football players under the bus when you were on the NFLN that it caught up to you with pointing out the wrong guy in Shocky. Hard to feel soory for you when you made the cash you did and could not manage your life. This is what we want in the HOF…don’t thiunk so.

  25. bucfandango says: Apr 14, 2012 1:14 PM

    Warren you could change from QBKilla to UBootyKilla.

    Probably could use a friend or two right now, if you hadn’t been such a D-Bag to everyone.

    Really Sapp, ain’t Karma a Bitch.

  26. bullcharger says: Apr 14, 2012 1:14 PM

    “Of course, if there hadn’t been so many naked women in his bedroom, he wouldn’t have the kind of legal obligations that forced him to choose between bankruptcy and jail.”


    I don’t think that’s too fair. Lots of business men have deals go bad and lots of business men get sued and many people have to declare personal bankruptcy, which is why the law exists.

    Go look at the history of some of America’s greatest business men and you’ll see struggles there.

    He didn’t do anything criminal or unforgivable and it certainly should not take away from his contribution on the field. He might be a jerk, but he was still a great player.

  27. franklamar17 says: Apr 14, 2012 1:16 PM

    American corporation file bankruptcy all the time and we the tax payers help them become whole again,but any time I see some football player,etc….we bashed them for doing it.some times life does not go like you planned it,things happen.sometime you win,some times you loose.we all make mistakes.if that’s the worst thing that will happen to sapp in his life,he will be just fine.

  28. kodakinvegas says: Apr 14, 2012 1:18 PM

    I’m NOT taking sides with ANYONE, I don’t know very much about Sapp outside the recent articles and a few appearances on tv. I know as an NFL player he made BIG BUCKS., beyond what most of us could imagine. Along with that he owes multiple. ((100k) plus I’n child support. I read somewhere what his monthly amount was but forgot it. It was however, astronomical. Part of the deal I guess. However, my point is this, I’n a heartbeat (literally) , a mimisecond, heart attack, partner screwed you, accident, bad wife, cancelled contract, non payment of a contract, stupidity, almost anything, you could find yourself I’n a very similar situation asking yourself “What happened? Dont be too critical, it really could be you next, but by the Grace of God. Bigger n better than Sapp have fallen.

  29. kerrchris65 says: Apr 14, 2012 1:18 PM

    pretty sure there is no such thing as debtor’s prison anymore and you go to civil court when you default on a contract. You don’t go to jail because you owe money.

  30. aldavisisthenfl says: Apr 14, 2012 1:19 PM

    me thinks eventually Sapp will be sittin’ in a cell at some point in his life…..

  31. bhindenemylines says: Apr 14, 2012 1:28 PM

    How stupid are these NFL players? Stop investing in high risk ventures. Take 1/3 – 1/4 of the money you are making during your career and invest it in safe govt bond funds. Last time I checked the 30 year bond was at 3.33%. Simplest that with 20-50 million over your career and you’ll never have to worry about money. Then again, bling, spinners, and Escalades do matter in the grand sceme of life.

  32. mcjon22 says: Apr 14, 2012 1:31 PM

    The guy made over 50 mil in his NFL career not counting endorsements, 6.7 mil should be a drop in the bucket to this guy.

  33. kodakinvegas says: Apr 14, 2012 1:32 PM

    PS to my post; I dont know how a man goes broke with that kind of money. Living according to the money he sees I guess and then it’s gone. Never have understood some of the things these guys do like Dez Bryant. It staggers my mind. So, dont for a moment think I condone willful and blatant financial stupidity. Sad

  34. kevinlone says: Apr 14, 2012 1:52 PM

    Sapp is right, he made the smart choice. No matter the reason you fall behind with child support,fact is,either pay it,or go to jail,I’d rather be broke and free than sitting in the cooler,good luck Warren!

  35. mikelitoris1 says: Apr 14, 2012 1:55 PM

    If it makes you feel any better Sapp, I purchased a copy of your book…

  36. effosugoblue says: Apr 14, 2012 1:57 PM

    I lost my wedding ring, but the wife didn’t believe it either.

  37. cooklynn17 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:02 PM

    Should have choose jail.

    Worthless fool…

  38. theandy59 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:03 PM

    The biggest industry in America today is stealing other people’s money. Banks do it every day. I don’t doubt Warren made some bad decisions, and he’s not a moron for doing so. Lots of pretty smart people have lost millions. Filing BK probably allows him to make his support payments; failure to keep those up will put you in jail, so there’s nothing about this story, sad as it is, that is worthy of bashing Sapp.

  39. briansethness says: Apr 14, 2012 2:08 PM

    With all the millions professional athletes make, they really to invest in using condoms.

  40. trubroncfan07 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:08 PM

    Not sure why everyone is hating on this guy. I don’t think someone should have to give up a ring or a trophy if they claim bankruptcy.

  41. alamba78 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:09 PM

    He forgot John Lynch. Wonder if that means anything…..

  42. waldoampere says: Apr 14, 2012 2:18 PM

    If he chose jail and ended up with a former QB bust named Ryan as a cellmate, maybe he would’ve turned over a new leaf.

  43. eaglesnoles05 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:20 PM

    I think he meant “My choice was bankruptcy, or I’d actually have to take responsibility for my spending and pay my debts, and if I didn’t do that, then MAYBE go to jail, but probably just get ordered by a court to take responsibility for my spending and pay my debts with my money I have.”

    People with money who file bankrupcy are one the the top contributors to why the working class man is screwed in this country/

  44. raidertone26 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:23 PM

    You blew all the money that al Davis overpaid you with?!?

  45. 1mommicked1 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:24 PM

    He had more choices than that. He could have been faithful to one woman and raised a family in a way honorable to God. He still can choose between bakrupcy, jail, paying all debts he is responsible for, living within his means.

  46. markwri says: Apr 14, 2012 2:25 PM

    Ever hear of a rock and a hard place?

  47. Herb Deluxe says: Apr 14, 2012 2:26 PM

    I understand bankruptcy is a difficult thing, and when normal people do it, I have sincere compassion for them. The thing about Sapp is that he was a graceless, arrogant jerk for much of his career, so he’s got to understand the schadenfreude directed at him. Ask Mike Sherman or Lee Flowers if they feel bad for Sapp.

  48. fanofthegame says: Apr 14, 2012 2:40 PM

    There’s not a court in this country that would have allowed garnishing 100% of his wages especially if there was court-ordered child support already in place.

    I’m officially calling Sapp a liar.

  49. nerdyturdy says: Apr 14, 2012 2:41 PM

    I really liked this article, I thought it was well written until the editorial comments in the last sentence. As usual.

  50. raiderbeliever says: Apr 14, 2012 2:41 PM

    Two things are happening when his lips are moving:

    1) He’s lying.

    2) He’s eating.

  51. buckybadger says: Apr 14, 2012 2:53 PM

    Happens far too often to these guys. They get money and have some fame so they are wanting to be bigger then what they are and live life with too much excess.

    Don’t bed every hot chick that crosses your path, just every 10th will still give you more then anyone not in your position and if you aren’t in a steady trusting relationship use condoms, they really do work [more reliable then my AT&T IPhone connecting a call] .

    Also don’t go for big investments. You have made enough money you should be able to live nicely and let the money work for you [even in bad economy if you aren’t dumb]. You don’t need to be investing aggressively, 5% on 8 million is $400,000 year. Think of it as your living and if you do it right insurance for future generations. Advantages most don’t have, or don’t I guess.

    You think there would be a market for an honest investor to take these guys by the hand and do it for them. They get signed on and give the player an allowance. They would have 100s of retired players and former clients saying listen to these guys, glad I did. Is there no honest investors players don’t want to listen.

  52. jh4prez says: Apr 14, 2012 2:55 PM

    I like how all you”never was”guys can now poke fun at guys that had it all.

  53. butkus54 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:55 PM

    Warrens’s story is nothing new … it’s just being played out on a bigger stage… I don’t neccessarily feel sorry for him , he is going to have to deal with the consequences of his actions in the same way you and I would have to, but I don’t wish him any ill will either. In fact, I would love to see Warren resurface again at some point in time … only wiser… from this experience.

  54. beeronthefridge says: Apr 14, 2012 2:56 PM

    According to the State of Florida Statutes, Chapter 7 includes ineligible debts for discharge, such as taxes, child support or student loans.

    Thus Sapp did not file bankruptcy to escape child supports.


    He filed to stiff his creditors.

  55. raiderapologist says: Apr 14, 2012 2:59 PM

    According to Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times, Sapp made over $80M during his playing career. It’s almost unthinkable to imagine burning through that kind of cash, but it happens. To idiots.

  56. argylesox1 says: Apr 14, 2012 3:13 PM

    well my understanding of garnishment laws has me thinkin Warren isn’t quite leveling with us. If you are paying in excess of 27% of your gross you are exempt from wage garnishment.

    Wage garnishment without child support can not exceed 21% of your net.

    California garnishment laws, the state his paycheck probably comes from, may be even more favorable to the debtor or child support payer.

    Me thinks Warren fabricates the truth a little. He made a ton and he blew it. No excuses. Unless his intent was to defraud from the get go.

  57. mrcosio says: Apr 14, 2012 3:19 PM

    Raider Nation has been calling you a liar for years Sapp…

  58. ProDolphinsTalk says: Apr 14, 2012 3:26 PM

    What the NFL preaches and what it puts on NFL Network are two entirely different things. They want a squeaky clean image but they go and hire Sapp and Irvin for the flagship program. They knew what they were getting with Sapp so why hire him knowing his wages will probably be garnished for some bad deal or enormous child support payment? Nobody will feel sorry for him though. Life’s expense, but there is no earthly reason a man can’t live on those wages even in America.

  59. 69finfan says: Apr 14, 2012 4:21 PM

    WS is a terrible Human Being and he is getting what he deserves. Karma is a bitch Warren. Maybe you should have signed autographs for those juvenile cancer patients you snubbed at the 2001 Super Bowl in Tampa or the countless other people including your own fans you absolutely treated like crap. Hopefully you will get locked up for something, it would serve you right.

  60. mjkelly77 says: Apr 14, 2012 4:36 PM

    “In my life, has anyone called me a liar? Why would I start now? Someone told me something that John Adams supposedly said. Facts are stubborn,” Sapp said. “I like facts.”

    And the fact is that you’re a deadbeat father and a scumbag who is not taking responsibilty for his actions by wiggling out of all of his obligations. And that is a fact.

  61. bigjd says: Apr 14, 2012 4:39 PM

    Anyone who makes millions of dollars and doesn’t take care of their kids is a POS.

  62. nflrule says: Apr 14, 2012 5:59 PM

    in jail he would have been know as pillowbiten killa!

  63. vikingsinla says: Apr 14, 2012 5:59 PM

    The only interesting quote from that article is the part where he names all the people that are responsible for him having a Super Bowl ring. This guy is and has always been a fat, useless clown. Its sad that the NFL network gave him a soapbox for his terrible, terrible takes, but at least they corrected that error.

  64. 4evrnyt says: Apr 14, 2012 6:25 PM

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy says Mike Sherman.

  65. skippy2007 says: Apr 14, 2012 6:29 PM


    NFL offensive tackle is reportedly suffering from uncontrollable laughter syndrome.

  66. fdugrad says: Apr 14, 2012 6:30 PM

    Here is a fact Warren: You are a MEATHEAD. Another fact: Condoms WORK–it really has been PROVEN.

  67. 1madr8r says: Apr 14, 2012 6:35 PM

    Dead beat looooooooser!!!!

  68. bucfandango says: Apr 14, 2012 6:39 PM

    So Warren, buddy, how’s that first ballot Haul of Fame looking now??? 2,nd, 10’th, never?

    $60+ Million??? Poof Gone!

    You have to be the dumbest person on the Planet.

  69. thefiesty1 says: Apr 14, 2012 7:03 PM

    Couldn’t of happened to a better man. He’ll survive bankruptcy – maybe not jail.

  70. chargrz says: Apr 14, 2012 7:22 PM

    Look for Warren under your freeway overpass soon.

  71. 666undead says: Apr 14, 2012 7:23 PM

    This guy is such a sap they had to add an extra p to his name. When you go to Bankruptcy court, Warrant, I mean Warren, just roll over the prosecutor’s legs from behind and take him out. Wait a minute, been there done that with Tommy Maddox when you were getting it handed to you by the Steelers line. Couldn’t take it like a man and resorted to the cheap shot, which didn’t work because the Steelers won and you were left on the sideline crying like a pathetic baby. Did your daddy raise you like that or do you know who your daddy is?

  72. radrntn says: Apr 14, 2012 7:36 PM

    it’s difficult if not impossible to feel bad for this guy

  73. fdugrad says: Apr 14, 2012 8:56 PM

    4evrnyt: Please explain the Mike Sherman comment. I am not familiar with the connection. Was he Sapp’s coach at one time?

  74. boscobingodingo says: Apr 14, 2012 9:08 PM

    Warren Sapp was a jerk as a player. He only played hard when he felt like it. Poor Tony Dungee had several of the most selfish lazy players in Sapp, Rice, and some of the other prima donna’s. He NEVER was going to win a championship with his easy going style. It took a hard ass like Gruden to get players like Sapp and Rice to put out more often. Notice Sapp ever the racist didn’t mention ONE white player, like his starting QB Brad Johnson , Mike Alstott, or John Lynch, Joe Juravicious, and others who contributed a great deal. He is a jerk, will always be a jerk and as a Tampa Bay resident I hope he leaves the area and goes and lives his miserable life out somewhere else. Who cares he was and is so arrogant and stupid he wasted al his money.

  75. cacheesehead1237 says: Apr 14, 2012 9:35 PM

    Hey Warren, remember that time you blew Chad Clifton up with that totally unnecessary cheap shot? ya, I do. You are getting what you deserve you cheap ass punk.

    – signed Packer Nation

  76. 6kings says: Apr 14, 2012 11:36 PM

    I am not critical of the bankruptcy. I just don’t like him. I think he is scum of the earth who happened to be a football player. Easy come, easy go.

  77. asublimeday says: Apr 15, 2012 2:02 AM

    Maybe be responsible with your kids and don’t end up with child support payments (I’d imagine, like most athletes, he has more than a handful of future welfare case kids)

  78. asublimeday says: Apr 15, 2012 2:20 AM

    It’s been stated but I’d like to elaborate: no court in America would take 100% of his wages. He’s unwilling to live on a budget and wants to duck out on child support.

    Bankruptcy laws need to be much stricter. I’m tired of you bums who can’t manage your money destroying the economy.

  79. grannyvi4 says: Apr 15, 2012 2:24 AM

    Um, no court garnishes 100 percent of anyone’s paycheck, particularly if they’re supposed to be paying child support.

    So, yeah…he’s a liar.

  80. nascent22 says: Apr 15, 2012 2:59 AM

    Warren is full of it…no doubt about it…a few FACTS that cannot be disputed…

    1) The ONLY thing that overrides a child support order when it comes to wage garnishment is a FEDERAL (not state) tax levy that is in place BEFORE the order goes into effect.

    2) States have varying limits, but the federal limit (and both limits MUST be complied with) is 25 percent of DISPOSABLE income (which would not include taxes…and probably not child support either depending on the state)…and creditor garnishments are ALWAYS below child support regardless of when they went into effect.

    3) A federal tax levy is the ONLY thing that could come close to 100% of income…and even that allows for an allowable net pay (google Form 668-W if you don’t believe me)

    4) Child support will not cease with a bankruptcy…nor will anything else domestic in nature (alimony, etc.)

    Pretty sure those docs will be public…so we’ll all find out eventually.

  81. nascent22 says: Apr 15, 2012 3:02 AM

    On point 2…I’m referring to creditor garnishments.

  82. dirtybird11 says: Apr 15, 2012 3:14 AM

    Can’t wait to pay his unemployment!

  83. diamondmo33 says: Apr 15, 2012 3:27 AM

    Sapp is a douche, I got a chance to hang
    Out with him in Indy at one of the s.b. Parties… Not a very nice guy, any respect
    I had for him from afar totally vanished when I met him in person.

  84. raiderjack says: Apr 15, 2012 5:35 AM

    so he had his nfl network check garnished, what about his showtime check? he’s a loser deserves everything that’s coming to him

  85. backindasaddle says: Apr 15, 2012 11:54 AM

    “Of course, if there hadn’t been so many naked women in his bedroom, he wouldn’t have the kind of legal obligations that forced him to choose between bankruptcy and jail.”

    Really???….. So it wasn’t the 6.7 million in debt obligation???

  86. calbsure says: Apr 15, 2012 1:51 PM

    ……and this is why you take advantage of a free college education through your athletic ability. To handle life situations socially and financially. Sure your treated differently and put on a pedestal by peers and even adults growing up, in the end you control your actions and you are held accountable. For every Sapp their are others who have made prudent decisions. We don’t hear about them because its not controversial and doesn’t sale to the public. Still you don’t dump all your eggs in one basket financially vs. developing revenue streams(have you ever heard of investing in franchises, i.e. McDonalds). On the reverse side you don’t dump your eggs sexually like a rooster in a chicken coop either. He doesn’t seem like a bad guy, just bad decisions.

  87. raiderluv says: Apr 16, 2012 9:12 AM

    Typical of the type of jack ___ behavior he always exhibits. Always blaming his problems on everyone else. Nothing’s your fault Warren.

  88. silvernblak says: Apr 16, 2012 5:40 PM

    I only agree with him paying his child support and doing what he had to do, if that’s even the yrut. But lose a Superbowl ring? Ya right! It’s one of the most cherished rings in sports and he can’t find it?!!!! Ok whatever……

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