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NFL hall of famer guilty in workers comp scheme

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A workers compensation lawyer who was a former professional football player has pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud Monday in Western Missouri District Court.

Ronald Mix, the 78-year-old former offensive lineman for the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders changed careers after retiring from football and became a workers compensation lawyer. While doing business as the Law Offices of Ron Mix, the former football player collaborated with an unnamed individual from October 2010 through December 2013, who referred professional athletes to Mr. Mix so he could file workers comp claims in the state of California in their behalf, according to court records that identified the unnamed only as “individual F.”

In return for the referrals, the football Hall of Famer agreed to make donations of anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 to a charity known as “The Sixth Man Foundation” d/b/a Project Contact Africa, according to court documents.

In 2013, Mr. Mix filed a 2012 federal tax return where he claimed a charitable deduction of $40,000, court records said, which was determined to be illegal referral payments he had made to Project Contact Africa.

He pleaded guilty Monday.

Mr. Mix told the court he was not aware that instead of using the donations to alleviate suffering in Africa, individual F used the money “for his own personal enjoyment and to fund his lifestyle,” courts reported.

Mr. Mix agreed to pay the Internal Revenue Service $49,543. He also faces a possible fine of $250,000, a three year prison sentence or one year probation, court documents said.