Former San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski had a reputation for getting under his opponent’s skin.
He’s also pretty good at getting under the skin of the U.S. government, which is suing the two-time Pro Bowler and his wife Julie for more than $15 million in unpaid taxes and penalties dating back to 1998.
“Despite timely notice and demand for payment, the Romanowskis have neglected, refused or failed to pay the assessments against them,” the lawsuit alleges, per The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider.
The complaint states that the Romanowskis’ original back-tax debt began in 1998. They were ordered by two courts to pay the sum in 2013 but failed to do so. Interest charges and penalties/fees have now ballooned his debt to $15.33 million.
The Romanowskis have also allegedly paid for their living expenses with money from their N53 nutrition business, using corporate funds to cover their rent, grocery and medical expenses.
“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 lawsuit said.
Romanowski won two Supers Bowls with the 49ers and two with the Broncos and was named to two Pro Bowls. He ended his career with 1,118 tackles, 39.5 sacks, 18 interceptions, 18 fumble recoveries and 16 forced fumbles.
His career is likely remembered more for the several physical altercations he got into with both teammates and opposing players, and racism allegations more so than it is for what he accomplished on the field.