Thursday, January 28, 2010

IRS Hits Cardinals' Antrel Rolle With $2.2 Million Bill

Antrel Rolle of the Arizona Cardinals is in hot water with the IRS, after he was recently hit with a $2.2 million tax bill for not reporting income during his first two years in pro-football. Although Rolle cites he has filed a lawsuit with the IRS claiming they violated his rights, he does not out rightly deny all of the claims they have made against him.

According to, the claims are contained in a previously unreported lawsuit Rolle filed in U.S. Tax Court against the agency. His petition asserts the IRS violated the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, denied him due process and failed to treat him in a "fair, professional and courteous manner." He complains the agency refused to transfer his tax audit from Sacramento to Los Angeles where his advisors and records were located and would not accept proffered documentation.

However, Rolle does not specifically dispute the IRS audit findings, which he attached to his pleading. The IRS findings state that it was discrepancies and inconsistencies in Rolle's own filings that accounted for most of the bill. Cited points included nonexistent or unlikely addresses, huge deductions claimed by Rolle for a personally run executive business and hard-to-locate churches listed as recipients of big cash gifts, with the amounts and descriptions of these donations changing.

Hiram M. Martin, the lawyer for Rolle in the tax case, declined comment Tuesday on specifics. Calling the matter "confidential," he said it was "totally inappropriate" for Forbes to have obtained his pleading. "I am outraged," he said. By law, Tax Court lawsuits are public record at the clerk's office in Washington, D.C.

Rolle is a new twist on what has become an epidemic of legal troubles plaguing NFL players. His case is a civil tax matter, and Rolle is the plaintiff. Recently New Orleans Saints defensive end Bobby McCray and Atlanta Falcons receiver Eric Weems were arrested for driving while under the influence, while Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Johnny Jolly and Falcons lineman Jonathan Babineaux were charged with drug offenses. None has admitted guilt. Player legal problems are so widespread that there is even a blog devoted to NFL-related crimes.

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