Category : tax evasion
NFL rules prevent that any bonus or award be offered to players directly or indirectly for personal fouls or injuries intentionally inflicted against opposing players. Gregg Williams, assistant coach of the Saints, who left after 36-32 playoff defeat to the San Francisco 49 team, to become the St. Louis Ram’s defensive coordinator, was suspended indefinitely by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the pay to injure bounty rule. Assistant coach Williams was allegedly heard on an audio tape offering his team bonuses to injure opposing players on the San Francisco 49 team, including running back Frank Gore, quarterback Alex Smith, wideout Michael Crabtree and backup receiver Kyle Williams. Williams’ speech was delivered less than two months before the Saints’ bounty scandal became public and was revealed to Yahoo! Sports by Sean Pamphilon, who had access to the team’s functions during the 2011 season.
The NFL has also decided to uphold its discipline ruling of Sean Payton, the former New Orleans Saints coach, who has been suspended for the entire 2012 season, general manager Mickey Loomis, who has been suspended for eight games and assistant coach Joe Vitt, who has been suspended for six games regarding the New Orleans Saints’ “bounty program”. The NFL Players Association has retained the international law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski to represent the union in the “bounty” program matter and to work with the NFLPA lawyers in assisting the players who were allegedly involved with representation in the “bounty” program. The League is still deciding whether 27 players who were involved in the bounty program which was in place during the 2009 to 2011 seasons will also be disciplined.
Possible Criminal Charges
While players could face criminal charges relating to this bounty program, a majority of legal scholars agree that it would be rare for prosecutors to charge players for on field acts since sport leagues generally have the authority to police themselves, and cases are tough for prosecutors to prove that football injuries were caused by an accidental assault or battery. However, players could be charged with conspiracy to commit assault and battery under state or federal laws if it can be established that the Saints were conducting a criminal activity by enticing players to injure others for money.
According to the NFL investigation, the Saints bounty system included payouts of $1,500 for “knockouts” and $1,000 for “cart-offs.” There was also alleged evidence of a $10,000 bounty on Brett Favre and a $5,000 bounty on Aaron Rodgers. Therefore, players could also be charged with tax evasion regarding the alleged payouts if they received the money and never declare it on their tax returns. However, since Favre and Rodgers were never knocked out even though they were targeted there would be no tax evasion charges regarding bounties on them.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with an assault or battery case or conspiracy to commit an assault and/or battery or are facing other criminal charges, you should contact a criminal defense attorney to defend your rights. The attorney can vigorously build a strong defense on your behalf, negotiate with prosecutors to reduce your charges or get you community service, probation or your charges suspended.
On Nov. 24, President George W. Bush issued pardons for 14 convicted felons and sentenced commutations for two other individuals. None of the more famous applicants were among this group, but there are two remaining months of the presidential administration in which their requests may be granted.
Garden-Variety Crimes, Including Drug Offense, Embezzlement
The individuals who received clemency had committed the following crimes:
- income tax evasion
- drug offenses—e.g., abetting the distribution of cocaine in one case
- unauthorized use of a pesticide
- illegal treatment, storage and disposal of a hazardous waste without a permit
- misapplication of bank funds by a bank officer
The two sentence commutations (shortening) were for drug crimes.
Counterterrorism Participants Not Yet Granted Clemency
A question that has not been answered by these latest grants is whether President Bush will issue “blanket” pardons for all of the many administration officials and intelligence officers who participated in torture-related activities and counterterrorism programs such as the al Qaeda interrogations.
The only well-known recipient of President Bush’s clemency powers is I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury in 2007. His sentence was commuted last year.
Other “celebrity” felons awaiting an answer to their pardon/commutation requests are:
- Olympic athlete Marion Jones
- The “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh
- Former congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham
Relatively Few Pardons and Commutations So Far
To date, President Bush has granted eight sentence commutations and 171 pardons, which is less than half as many as those issued separately by two-term Presidents Clinton and Reagan. According to White House spokesman Carlton Carroll, President Bush “will continue to carefully review clemency requests and make determinations on a case-by-case basis.”
(Source: New York Times)
Do You Need Legal Help? If you’re interested in obtaining a presidential pardon or sentence commutation for yourself or a family member, contact us to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area.
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