Former San Diego Chargers tackle Charles Loewen has been sentanced to 37 months in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to defraud the IRS for a grand total of $2,353,173.22.
Loewen spent four seasons in the National Football League with the Chargers, playing between 1980 - 1984 having been drafted out of South Dakota State as a seventh round pick, but now aged 57 he faces several years behind bars.
The former NFL player admitted to filing a false tax refund to the Internal Revenue Service back in March 2014 in which he claimed they owed him the multi-million figure mentioned above.
The IRS are not the type to willing hand across millions of dollars however, and, after some digging of their own, quickly realised that Loewen himself owed the U.S. large sums.
As reported by The Star Advertiser, the former NFL man turned businessman closed his local bank accounts in a bid to avoid detection - even asking his wife to open a new account. The ruling Thursday however confirms that Loewen failed in his attempt to outwit the courts.
As well as having to pay back $235,288 in restitution for federal taxes under the order of U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson, the former Charger also owes $127,000 in state taxes. This sum is, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Lie, dates back to between 2004-2008.
As mentioned, Loewen was part of the Chargers depth chart for four consecutive seasons in the 1980s. He played at both guard and tackle, and appeared in 47 games in total during that time.
Only three of those games came as a starter however, all coming in 1981 as the Chargers went 10-6 to finish top of the AFC West.
Not the only one
Loewen is not the only former NFL player to be found guilty for fraud in 2014. Back in February of this year, Greg Boyd (once of the Atlanta Falcons) was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison for income tax fraud.
Whilst neither Boyd or Loewen will have been earning particularly high sums during their brief spells in the pros, their circumstance is a worrying association for the league which is already dealing with negative headlines with a different focus.
The NFL continues to be criticised for the way it deals with it's former players, and in particular with those who have suffered long-term concussion related issues since retiring from the game.
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