Freddie Mitchell was always a favorite here at Level. Whether it was his postgame bowtie, his putting on the belt as the "People's Champ" following a big catch (he made a few!), or trying his hand at the BBQ restaurant business or motivational YouTube channel in his post-NFL career, we've always sort of enjoyed Freddie's brand of crazy. It seemed mostly harmless.
But today we learned about a more serious problem for FredEx. He's now allegedly involved himself in some serious scheming against Uncle Sam and now faces federal tax fraud charges.
Don't think he'll be thanking his accountant for being too great any time soon.
The target of the alleged scheme was a professional athlete with the
initials A.G., who investigators said had no knowledge of the scam, but
paid for a firm connected with Mitchell to do his taxes.
According to the indictment, the plan was to file false federal tax returns electronically.
Russ-Walls and Walls allegedly filed the returns, claiming refunds
ranging from $170,000 to $1.9 million. The two men also attached false
documents to support the refund claims, according to the indictment.
Now. We did a little brain storming to try and figure out if there are any former Eagles with the initials A.G. Our search came up short (Abe Gibson played in the 50s and Anthony Griggs in the 80s). Could it be a UCLA Bruins tie in? No A.G.'s have been drafted out of UCLA to play in the NFL or NBA. So no leads there...
Our Eagles guru Kulp said the first name that popped into his head as a fit for the A.G. initials was Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green or tight tnd extraordinaire Antonio Gates. Also, Freddie spent a summer with the Kansas City chiefs and could have befriended tight end Tony Gonzalez, or Anthony Gonzalez?
What athletes out there have the initials A.G. that would trust Mr. Mitchell?
UPDATE: Howard Eskin says he talked to Freddie who claims to be innocent and caught in the middle of the scam. He also noted the A.G. we were trying to guess is NBA player Drew Gooden who just so happened to come out of hibernation against the Sixers the other night.
And FM telling me "got 50,000 from Drew Gooden thinking it was legit" and found out later "he got scammed" told that to IRS agents.
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) March 6, 2012