When Chris Zorich played for the Bears, you could hardly turn on the local news in Chicago without seeing a story about his Christmas toy drives, his Thanksgiving meal donations and his hospital visits. But new questions are being raised about how scrupulous Zorich was in his charitable activities.
Jared S. Hopkins of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Chris Zorich Charitable Foundation never distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars it raised, that the Internal Revenue Service filed a $10,000 lien against the charity and that the Illinois attorney general’s office, which canceled the charity’s registration six years ago, said it was trying to reach Zorich for an explanation about the charity’s operations.
Zorich told the Tribune he forgot about the $864,645 in assets the charity said it had when it last filed a tax return, in 2002, and that he assumes the money is still in the bank but can’t produce a bank statement to prove it.
“I was kind of concentrating on other things, not necessarily that the foundation was up to par,” Zorich said. “To find out things weren’t in order is kind of shocking to me.”
Zorich said the charity closed in 2008, even though its web site is still urging people to mail donations.
Zorich played football at Notre Dame and is also a graduate of its law school, although he did not pass the bar exam. He currently works for Notre Dame’s athletic department as Manager of Student Welfare & Development.