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Celebrity Docket – Tax Fraud and the Concussion Defense

tax fraud concussionHe really should have stuck to football. In 2013, former Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell was sentenced to 37 months in prison for taking part in a tax fraud scheme. He could have received up to 10 years, but his attorneys used the “concussion defense,” saying he had been hit so many times he should get a break.

Mitchell pled guilty to conspiracy after he and two co-defendants were busted for filing a false tax return  and got a refund of $2 million. They filed  the false claim under the name of an NBA player (Drew Gooden) who was not accused of any wrong doing.

In fact, the plot unraveled when Gooden filed a correct tax return that tipped off the authorities. Mitchell told the judge he didn’t have criminal tendencies, in spite of his involvement in the fraud; rather, it was all those concussions he’s suffered on the football field that led him down the wrong path.

Mitchell said he has a document that shows that the injuries make him “extremely gullible and naïve to a lot of things that are happening.” He went on to explain that “The truth of the fact is this brain injury allowed me to be victimized by being lured into a failed attempt by an IRS agent.”