NFL veteran pleads guilty to tax-related fraud charges in Miami

William Joseph, a University of Miami defensive tackle who played in the NFL for much of the past decade, pleaded guilty to tax-related fraud charges in federal court Friday.
Joseph and others — including former Oakland Raider teammate, running back Michael Bennett — are accused of cashing dozens of fraudulently obtained tax-refund checks and seeking a loan with fake collateral. Their take totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to court records.
Joseph, 32, of Miramar, pleaded guilty to theft of government money and aggravated identity theft, the latter of which carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence. His sentencing was set for Nov. 9 before U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams.

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Feds bust three ex-NFL players on ID-theft and tax-related fraud charges

Three former National Football League players have been arrested by the FBI on federal charges in connection with an alleged scheme to steal people’s identities and file false tax returns in others’ names, according to authorities.

The three ex-NFL players charged with defrauding the federal government and ID theft are: William Joseph, a University of Miami defensive tackle drafted in the first round by the New York Giants in 2003; Michael Bennett, a University of Wisconsin running back also drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2001; and Louis Gachelin, a Syracuse University defensive tackle who was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2004.

Joseph and Gachelin are Miami natives; Bennett was born in Milwaukee. All three were questioned after their arrests Monday by FBI agents at the bureau’s North Miami Beach regional office. They were then transferred to the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami for court appearances Tuesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Dube, according to the clerk’s office. Details of the alleged scheme are expected to be disclosed in a criminal complaint to be released later Tuesday.

FBI spokesman Mike Leverock declined to comment.

As part of a related investigation, the FBI also arrested about a half-dozen other defendants Monday.

Authorities say the latest tax-related fraud case, while unique because of the ex-NFL defendants, is yet another indication of escalating identity-theft crimes in South Florida.

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