TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Former NFL star Plaxico Burress has five years to repay New Jersey $56,000 in back taxes and restitution or face going to jail, a judge said Friday.
Burress, who received five years’ probation, would face a 364-day jail sentence if he fails to make the payments in time.
Burress, of Totowa, declined to comment after he was sentenced in Superior Court. The former wide receiver with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and New York Jets had admitted that he didn’t pay $46,000 in state taxes on his $1 million income in 2013.
In return for his plea, prosecutors dropped a charge of issuing a bad check or electronic funds transfer.
Prosecutors said Burress filed his 2013 state income taxes but the electronic transfer to cover his payment didn’t go through. Tax officials said they repeatedly contacted Burress about the matter but didn’t get a response.
His lawyer, Thomas DiLullo, told The Trentonian newspaper he doesn’t believe the state Division of Taxation targeted his client. “But I think, honestly, that Plaxico made a mistake and that mistake fell within the definition of the law.”
Burress 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; he 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.
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