Antrel Rolle claims tax lawyer defrauded him of $1.8 million

God (and Orbitz) may have pointed Antrel Rolle towards signing with the Chicago Bears, but He probably should have given Rolle better advice on hiring a tax attorney.

The former Giants safety, who signed a three-year $11.25 million contract with the Bears last week, filed a federal civil complaint against attorney Hiram Martin, of Martin Law & Associates, and Harold Sterling of San Fernando Valley for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, misrepresentation, conspiracy and other counts. Rolle is seeking $1,857,303 in damages.

Here are the details of the lawsuit, via the Courthouse News Service:

With his mother Armelia's help, Rolle says he hired Martin to file his taxes after the attorney said he could save Rolle millions of dollars. According to Rolle, Martin and Sterling conspired to steal more than $1.2 million of his withholdings in the 2005 and 2006 tax years by forging his signature on tax documents. In addition, Martin filed Arizona state tax returns under the NFL player's name for the tax years 2005 to 2009, pocketing more than $600,000, Rolle says.

Rolle also accuses Sterling of making "bogus charitable contributions" to a chapel Sterling was president of, giving letters to Martin stating that Rolle had made contributions of $632,000 in 2005, and $1,901,000 in 2006. The contributions were then utilized by Martin and Sterling to create large refunds which were then deposited into accounts owned by Martin without Rolle's knowledge.

Rolle also went through some tax problems with the IRS, perhaps as a result of Martin's negligence.

In January 2010, Forbes reported that the Internal Revenue Service had sent Rolle a $2.2 million demand for back taxes for underreporting his tax income by 50 percent for the years 2005 and 2006. Martin said he was "outraged" and that it was "totally inappropriate" for the business magazine to have looked at tax court filings, even though they are in the public record, Forbes reported at the time. Rolle says he fired Martin in 2012, after the IRS sent him a notice of lien. The accountant he hired to replace Martin uncovered the fraud with the help of the National Football League's Investigative Services, after taking a closer look at his tax records, Rolle says.

Here's hoping Rolle gets this straightened out and receives every last cent he's owed if the courts rule that his former lawyers acted maliciously. NFL players have enough to be concerned about financially without fully guaranteed contracts, to also worry about being potentially ripped off by their lawyers.

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