Former NFL Player Sentenced For Tax Charge

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

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, 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. 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, 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.

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 the sentence.


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