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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 31, 2013

Former NFL Player Sentenced To Seven Months In Prison For Failure To File Tax Return

CAMDEN, N.J. – A former National Football League player who formerly resided in Passaic County was sentenced today to seven months in prison for failing to file a federal income tax return, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

William James, 33, of Brownsville, Pa., formerly known as William J. Peterson, pleaded guilty on May 23, 2012, before U.S. District Court Judge Jerome B Simandle to Count One of a five-count Information. Count One charged James, who formerly resided in Woodland Park, N.J., with having willfully failed to file a tax return for the tax year 2005.

According to documents filed in this case:

James was a professional football player from 2001 to 2010, having played for teams that included the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. While playing professionally, James earned a substantial income from the NFL teams for which he played. In 2005 his salary was $5.5 million. James was required to file an individual income tax return because his gross income exceeded the sum of the personal and standard deductions available to him that year.

Although he had repeatedly been advised by the IRS and by his personal accountant that he was obligated to file a tax return, James ignored their notices and failed to file a return.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Simandle sentenced James to one year of supervised release. As part of the plea agreement, James has agreed to file back returns and to pay back taxes and penalties, which total $470,254. He has already served four months in custody.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen for the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bohdan Vitvitsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

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Defense Counsel: Lori Koch Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden

Updated March 18, 2015