Tax Fraud

Ron Mix was a high-caliber NFL player who spent most of his playing days with the San Diego Chargers. In 1979, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When people voted on the AFL's All-Time team, his name made the list. It was a prolific career for an offensive lineman.

After he got out of the NFL, he turned to the legal profession and became a lawyer for workers' compensation claims. That's when the trouble began, as he started illegally taking referrals for clients who were also athletes. The person who gave him those referrals was not a lawyer.

Giving to Charity

Mix compounded the problems when he attempted to make it look like he wasn't paying for the referrals. The person giving them to him ran a charity called The Sixth Man Foundation. In three years, Mix gave around $155,000 to this charity. This money has now been determined to be a payment for those services, but he declared it on his tax returns as a gift, a donation to the charity. The charity is a legitimate operation, but his declaration was illegal.

Pleading Guilty

This case has jumped back into the public eye because he decided he would enter a guilty plea. He's going to pay the Internal Revenue Service a total of $49,543. That restitution payment is a condition of his plea agreement. He has not yet been sentenced, but he still could get a maximum sentence of three years in jail. That would be quite significant for the former NFL star, who is 78 years old.

Plea Bargains and Your Rights

This case illustrates a number of things, starting with the way that one illegal activity may lead almost directly into another. It also shows how important it is to understand all of the legal options you have when facing criminal charges for tax fraud or anything else; in this case, a guilty plea and a bargain with the court were determined by the legal team to be a better option than fighting the charges, as a plea bargain can sometimes bring a reduced sentence.