Former NFL star Plaxico Burress has been indicted on charges he failed to pay taxes, New Jersey prosecutors announced Thursday.
The 37-year-old former wide receiver with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and New York Jets was charged last week with wilful failure to pay a state tax and issuing a bad check or electronic funds transfer.
Burress is the first person in the state to be charged under a law adopted and signed last year that makes issuing a bad electronic funds transfer a criminal offence just like passing a bad check.
Each offence could carry up to a five-year prison term if he is convicted.
Burress lives in Totowa. He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. It was also not clear if a lawyer is representing him.
In a news release from the Mercer County prosecutor’s office, authorities said Burress filed his state income tax return for 2013 on Oct. 20, 2014, showing he owed nearly $48,000, the amount that would be due for someone with a taxable income of about $550,000.
Prosecutors said he submitted an electronic funds transfer, but it failed.
Officials said the state Division of Taxation notified him of the problem in multiple letters, one of which was sent certified and returned unclaimed, but officials never heard back from him. Authorities also said they notified Burress’ tax preparer.
They say he also did not pay up after a criminal complaint was filed in February.
Burress had a previous brush with the law. He pleaded guilty in 2009 to violating a New York weapons law after he accidentally shot himself in the thigh. He spent 20 months in prison.
The wide receiver returned to the NFL after his release but has not played since 2012.
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