TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — An attorney for former NFL star Plaxico Burress said in court Monday he’s confident his client can work out a deal with prosecutors in his tax evasion case, but he wouldn’t say whether it would keep him out of jail.
The former wide receiver with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and New York Jets has pleaded not guilty to willful failure to pay state tax and issuing a bad check or electric funds transfer. Prosecutors say he failed to pay about $48,000 in state income taxes from 2013, the amount that would be due for someone with a taxable income of about $550,000.
Burress, 38, of Totowa, is the first person in New Jersey to be charged under a 2014 law that makes issuing a bad electronic funds transfer a criminal offense. If convicted, he faces up to a decade in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.
He has said he made a mistake and wasn’t intentionally disregarding tax officials, who repeatedly contacted him about the delinquent account.
Prosecutors offered Burress a plea deal last month that would require him to spend about a year behind bars and pay $54,000 in restitution, The Trentonian reported. His attorney, Thomas DiLullo, said he expects a deal to be worked out.
“We’re confident we can resolve it,” DiLullo said.
Burress said nothing in court Monday, the newspaper reported. His next appearance is set for Oct. 5.
He has had previous brushes with the law. He pleaded guilty in 2009 to violating a New York weapons law after he accidentally shot himself in the leg, and spent 20 months in prison.
Burress, who caught the winning touchdown for the Giants in the 2008 Super Bowl, returned to the NFL after his release from prison but has not played since 2012.
He played with Big Blue from 2005-08 and with the Jets in 2011.
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