NFL Hall of Famer Pleads Guilty to Fraud; Jail Time Possible

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By Matthew Beddingfield

May 23 — A former NFL star turned attorney faces up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 for claiming charitable deductions from 2010 to 2013 for payments he made in exchange for referrals from a non-attorney.

According to a May 23 Department of Justice news release, Ronald Jack Mix, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and current practicing attorney in California, admitted that $155,000 in donations to Project Contact Africa (PCA) represented illegal referral payments he falsely claimed on his personal income tax return as charitable deductions.

Referral Arrangement

At the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Mix admitted to filing a false tax return after he entered into an arrangement where he received professional athlete referrals from a non-attorney so he could file workers' compensation claims in California on his own behalf.

Mix, a former offensive lineman for the San Diego Chargers, agreed to make donations to PCA as directed by the non-attorney who provided the referrals.

U.S. District Court Judge Greg Kays hasn't scheduled sentencing yet.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Daly and Curt Bohling of the Western District of Missouri and Tax Division Attorney Ryan Raybould are prosecuting the case.

Jean Paul Bradshaw of Lathrop & Gage LLP represents Mix.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Beddingfield in Washington at mbeddingfield@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Ferguson at bferguson@bna.com