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Former Giant, Eagle Fails to File Tax Returns

William James Peterson, Jr. was drafted by the New York Giants in the third round of the 2001 NFL draft to play cornerback. Upon joining the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006, James dropped “Peterson Jr.” from his name.

Around the same time, James apparently thought he could also drop the requirement to file his tax returns. The Associated Press is reporting James has pleaded guilty to willfully failing to file tax returns from 2005 to 2009.

James also played for the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars during those years. Prosecutors say he earned over $9 million throughout the five years in question.

James faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. His sentencing is scheduled for September 21. If he didn’t pay any federal income tax on $9 million, a one year maximum seems like a fairly lenient punishment.

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  1. Meyer
    May 25th, 2012 at 01:08 | #1

    DId he plead guilty for failing to file or failure to pay? As a salaried employee of numerous NFL teams, it would seem that he did pay some or all of his taxes. Presumably his emplolyers are law abiding and withheld taxes from his paychecks.
    If he did pay some or all of his taxes on $9M and only failed to file then I do not think it is so clear that a maximum of one year is lenient.
    I understand that some will argue that under our revenue collection system that failure to file is more egregious. However, I think that is far from clear that failure to file is in fact more morally reprehensible than failure to pay.

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