Former Chicago Bear Chris Zorich entered a guilty plea today in federal court to misdemeanor charges that he failed to file federal income tax returns for four years while he made more than $1 million in gross income.
Wearing a black suit with a black tie, Zorich told U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Martin he did not file tax returns from 2006 through 2009.
During those years, Zorich received deferred compensation from the Bears, wages from a law firm and from Notre Dame University, and personal appearance fees.
He also received a $3,000 monthly rent payment from the charitable foundation he founded, according to prosecutors. His lawyer has said he kept a home office where the foundation's records were maintained.
Zorich, who turned 44 on Wednesday, is scheduled to be sentenced July 12.
The Tribune reported in 2010 that the Chris Zorich Charitable Foundation was in disarray, prompting a two-year review by the Illinois attorney general's office.
Unable to account for money donated to the foundation, Zorich signed a consent decree last year with the attorney general's office to pay back almost $350,000.
Zorich denied misusing any money, but the decree barred him from taking a leading role for any charity in Illinois.
Zorich faces up to 16 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, but his attorney, Matthias Lydon, has previously said he will seek probation for Zorich.
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