Ex-NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski and wife owe $15 million in back taxes, lawsuit says
Bill Romanowski is in hot water again.
In a Department of Justice lawsuit filed Tuesday in a California federal court, the U.S. government alleges that Romanowski and his wife used money from a nutrition company they owned to pay their living expenses and now owe more than $15.3 million in taxes.
The lawsuit says the couple failed to pay millions of dollars in income taxes from 1998 to 2007, which would encompass part of Romanowski’s NFL career (he retired in 2003 with the Oakland Raiders).
The Romanowskis withdrew money from bank accounts registered with Nutrition53, a nutritional supplement company they founded in 2006, to pay for a vast range of personal expenses, like plastic surgery appointments, day spa appointments, rent for their adult daughter and groceries for their adult son, the lawsuit alleges.
“By using N53 to pay their personal living expenses and those of their adult children, the Romanowskis have improperly used N53 to thwart the IRS’s collection of the individual income tax assessments at issue in this case,” the Department of Justice says in the suit.
This is not the first time Romanowski has attracted public scrutiny.
The linebacker, 57, was involved in a number of controversies, the most serious of which was in 2003 when he forced teammate Marcus Williams to retire from football after he crushed his eye socket with a punch.
Williams sued for $3.4 million in damages and was awarded $340,000 for lost wages and medical expenses.
Romanowski was also implicated in the BALCO steroid scandal, after government records revealed that he had used two different performance-enhancing steroids from the laboratory. He admitted to using steroids on “60 Minutes” in 2005.
Romanowksi’s career on the field was illustrious: he won four Super Bowls (two with the 49ers and two with the Broncos), earned two Pro Bowl nominations and made 1,116 tackles.