William Joseph faces prison in Miami FBI tax-fraud case

Former NFL lineman William Joseph, who starred at the University of Miami, will likely head to prison Friday after he is sentenced for his identity-theft and tax-fraud conviction in federal court.

Joseph, who played defensive tackle in the National Football League for much of the past decade, faces up to three years behind bars. He is being sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams.

Joseph and other defendants — including a former Oakland Raider teammate, running back Michael Bennett — were convicted of either cashing dozens of fraudulently obtained tax-refund checks in other peoples’ names or seeking a loan with fake collateral. Their take totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to court records.

Joseph, 32, of Miramar, cut a plea deal in late August that could lower his potential sentence.

He pleaded guilty to theft of government money and aggravated identity theft, the latter of which carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence.

He admitted cashing a $10,088 Treasury Department refund check in the name of a person with the initials “I.P.” at a check-cashing store in North Miami in April, according to his plea agreement.

Unbeknownst to him, the store was a front for an FBI undercover operation.

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