Former Denver Bronco linebacker Bill Romanowski was ordered to pay about 5 million in back taxes, according to David Migoya of the Denver Post, after getting caught up in a horse breeding scam.
The deductions were related to more than $13 million the Romanowskis borrowed to invest in a breeding operation called ClassicStar. The company eventually went bankrupt and its principals were convicted of federal tax fraud. The Romanowskis deducted some of their losses as business losses.
The Romanowski’s are claiming they were duped by their trusted adviser Rodney Atherton.
Undisclosed was that Atherton and the law firm were paid a commission — alleged to be about 7 percent — on whatever was invested by their referrals. So a $13 million investment from Romanowski on paper would have netted a $900,000 commission.
While it is par for the course to hear about former athletes being broke and owing back taxes, it legitimately seems Romanowski was deceived by someone whom he trusted for financial advise.