Ex-NFL star Plaxico Burress accused of failing to pay taxes

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Ex-NFL Star Plaxico Burress Indicted For Failure To Pay Taxes

Former NFL star Plaxico Burress has been indicted on charges he failed to pay taxes, New Jersey prosecutors announced Thursday.

The 37-year-old former wide receiver with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and New York Jets was charged last week with willful failure to pay a state tax and issuing a bad check or electronic funds transfer.

Burress is the first person in the state to be charged under a law adopted and signed last year that makes issuing a bad electronic funds transfer a criminal offense just like passing a bad check.

Each offense could carry up to a five-year prison term if he is convicted.

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Ex-NFL star Plaxico Burress accused of failing to pay taxes
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Football player Plaxico Burress visits 'Opening Bell With Maria Bartiromo' on the FOX Business Network at FOX Studios on March 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress (80) makes a catch during NFL football practice on Thursday, May 30, 2013 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Newly signed Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress, right, laughs with injured wide receiver Antonio Brown before NFL football practice, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, in Pittsburgh. Burress returned to the team that drafted him a dozen years ago on Wednesday hungry, humble and eager to prove there's still some life left in a career that's never quite lived up to his own outsized expectations. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
In this photo taken Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress warms up before the start of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, in Miami. Burress is back where he once belonged. The Pittsburgh Steelers brought back the veteran wide receiver on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 to provide depth at a position decimated by injuries while hoping there's enough gas left in the 35-year-old's tank to give the offense an added dimension near the goal line. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress (17) catches the ball for a touchdown in front of Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (24) in the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress motions after getting yardage for a first down during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011 in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 28-24. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 18: Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Jets looks on from the sidelines during the second half of the Jets 45-19 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 6: Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Jets is tackled during NFL game action by Drayton Florence #29 of the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18: Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Jets sits on the bench against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 21: Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Jets catches a touchdown in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals during their preseason game on August 21, 2011 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - AUGUST 07: Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Jets speaks to the media at NY Jets Practice Facility on August 7, 2011 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Plaxico Burress, the 33-year-old former New York Giants receiver, listens to a question during a news conference, in New York, Monday, June 13, 2011. He will work with the National Urban League and Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence after spending nearly two years in prison on a weapon possession charge. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
New York Giants football player Plaxico Burress (R) and his lawyer Benjamin Brafman (L) enter Manhattan Criminal Court March 31, 2009 in New York. Burress, who shot himself accidentally in December, is appearing on charges of carrying a concealed firearm. AFP PHOTO/Stan Honda (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress appears before judge Michael Melkonian for his sentencing in Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009, in New York. Burress was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a nightclub and later reaching a plea deal on weapons charges. (AP Photo/Marc Hermann, Pool)
Plaxico Burress leaves Manhattan Criminal Court after testifying to a Grand Jury, Wednesday, July 29, 2009 in New York. Burress says he told the truth before the grand jury that's investigating a weapon charge against him. Burress also told reporters outside the courthouse where he testified Wednesday that "I'm truly remorseful for what I've done." (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 23: Wide receiver Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants warms up for the game against the Arizona Cardinals on November 23, 2008 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
** FILE ** In this Oct. 13, 2008 file photo, New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress (17) runs with the ball during a NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland. Burress could be welcomed back to the Giants. But, general manager Jerry Reese says, the star receiver has to straighten out his legal problems stemming from a weapons charge and get his life in order. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)
New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress answers questions for the media availability session Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008 in Chandler, Ariz. The Giants play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII on Sunday, Feb. 3 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 03: Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants looks on against the Dallas Cowboys at Giants Stadium on December 3, 2006 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
ALBANY, NY - AUGUST 2: Wide receiver Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants takes a break during training camp on August 2, 2005 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH-SEPTEMBER 28: Plaxico Burress #80 of the Pittsburgh Steelers attempts to catch a pass in the end zone against the Tennessee Titans on September 28, 2003 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Titans defeated the Steelers 30-13. (Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Wide receiver Plaxico Burress #80 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the game against the Oakland Raiders on September 15, 2002 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Oakland won 30-17. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Burress lives in Totowa. He couldn't immediately be reached for comment. It was also not clear if a lawyer is representing him.

In a news release from the Mercer County prosecutor's office, authorities said Burress filed his state income tax return for 2013 on Oct. 20, 2014, showing he owed nearly $48,000, the amount that would be due for someone with a taxable income of about $550,000.

Prosecutors said he submitted an electronic funds transfer, but it failed.

Officials said the state Division of Taxation notified him of the problem in multiple letters, one of which was sent certified and returned unclaimed, but officials never heard back from him. Authorities also said they notified Burress' tax preparer.

They say he also did not pay up after a criminal complaint was filed in February.

Burress had a previous brush with the law. He pleaded guilty in 2009 to violating a New York weapons law after he accidentally shot himself in the thigh. He spent 20 months in prison.

The wide receiver returned to the NFL after his release but has not played since 2012.

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