News and Press Releases

Former professional football player admits failing
to file five years of taxes on $9.2 million in nFL pay

May 23, 2012


CAMDEN, N.J. – A former professional football player admitted today that he intentionally failed to file federal income tax returns on his NFL salary for tax years 2005 through 2009, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

William James, 32, of Woodland Park, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle to an Information charging him with willful failure to file tax returns.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

James played professional football from 2001 to 2010, playing for the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers. He earned approximately $9.2 million from the teams in tax years 2005 through 2009.

Between 2005 and 2008, James’ financial advisor and accountant repeatedly advised him by telephone, in person, and in writing that he was obligated to file income tax returns and asked him to send information required for preparing and filing them. James ignored the advice, even falsely telling his advisors he had sent the necessary information. James admitted today that he failed to send the items requested to prepare returns on his behalf.

IRS employees wrote certified letters to James and visited his Passaic County home several times between March 2008 and August 2009 to hand-deliver such notices and to advise him of his tax obligations. Between March 2007 and December 2009, the IRS also sent approximately 20 automated notices to James, at least one of which he passed to his accountant, who advised James in writing of his obligation to file tax returns and that the accountant needed additional information to prepare the returns. James ignored the notices and his accountant’s instructions.

James admitted that by August 2010, he had not filed any of his tax returns for tax years 2005 through 2009.

The charge to which James pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine, or twice the gain resulting from the offense or twice the loss to any victim. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Sept. 21, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge JoAnn S. Zuniga, for their work in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Kosto of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark and Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Askin of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Camden.


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

James, William Information

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