Former Bear Chris Zorich charged in misdemeanor tax case

Former Bear Chris Zorich charged in misdemeanor tax case
March 7, 2013, 2:00 pm

Former Chicago Bears and Notre Dame defensive lineman Chris Zorich was charged Thursday with misdemeanor federal offenses for allegedly neglecting to pay income taxes for four consecutive years.

From 2006 through 2009, the charges allege that Zorich, 43, made over $1 million in income via deferred compensation from the Bears, $3,000 monthly rental income from his charity--the Chris Zorich Charitable Foundation--for use of property, a law firm for whom Zorich was an employee, Notre Dame as well as fees from personal appearances.

Federal prosecutors allege that Zorich did not file income taxes over this four-year stretch. Zorich has authorized for federal prosecutors to reveal that he is cooperating with the Internal Revenue Service and intends to plead guilty to the charges levied. 

After being named to the All-America team as a defensive lineman and winning the Lombardi Award in his senior year at Notre Dame, Zorich was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft. He played with the Bears from 1991 through 1996, and was named a Pro Bowl alternate in 1993. In 2007 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Zorich's finances have drawn legal scrutiny before. In 2010, he signed a consent decree to pay back $350,000 in unaccounted for funds related to the Chris Zorich Charitable Foundation.