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Bill Romanowski, wife owe nearly $5 million in back taxes

Romanowski Getty Images

Bill Romanowski’s investment in a failed horse-breeding business has left him with a large back-tax bill.

The United States Tax Court ruled in February that the longtime NFL linebacker and his wife, Julie, owe about $4.75 million in unpaid taxes for the years 1998 through 2004 stemming from their investment in ClassicStar, which involved the leasing of mares for breeding purposes. (The Paulick Report has a good summary of Romanowski’s involvement with ClassicStar.)

According to the tax court ruling, the Romanowskis invested close to $13.1 million in the horse-breeding business, and they listed expenses and took deductions related to the venture.  The court, in a written opinion, held that “(the Romanowskis’) horse-breeding activities were not engaged in for profit, and the related expenses are therefore not deductible.”

The court also wrote that Rodney Atherton, an attorney who advised the Romanowskis on dealing with ClassicStar, “received improper payments from ClassicStar as a result of (the Romanowskis) choosing to enter the program.”

According to the Denver Post, Romanowski and Atherton’s former law firm reached a settlement in 2011.

Plaintiffs were awarded a $65.0 million judgment against now-bankrupt ClassicStar in 2011 after a federal judge ruled the company engaged in misconduct.

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50 Responses to “Bill Romanowski, wife owe nearly $5 million in back taxes”
  1. blizzard01 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:44 PM

    Sounds like a rock solid investment. Not sure why it didn’t work out.

  2. kaeperdicking says: Mar 8, 2013 1:52 PM

    This is very common; non-profit horse breeding start-ups go bust here in the Valley all the time. It is easy to understand how these guys end up broke making investments like that…$13.1 mil? You should have just blown through all of that cash!

    Just hire a good adviser and let him/her field all of the pitches that may come your way.

  3. trollhammer20 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:52 PM

    Boy, I’d hate to be the tax attorney that gave him the bad news….probably wind up with a broken jaw.

  4. humb0lt says: Mar 8, 2013 1:53 PM

    Once a Raider always a Raider.

  5. 619sdfan4life says: Mar 8, 2013 1:55 PM

    Yet another NFL player who was given millions is broke. I just don’t understand. You make all that money and you can find a way to manage it properly and not throw it in to bad investments

  6. mjkelly77 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:56 PM

    Plaintiffs were awarded a $65.0 million judgment against now-bankrupt ClassicStar in 2011 after a federal judge ruled the company engaged in misconduct.
    ___________________

    Did Romanowski collect any of it?

  7. skinsrock says: Mar 8, 2013 2:02 PM

    In other news… Joe Flacco is scheduled to earn 20.1 million next year… His tax liability is 10.44 million… OVER 50% of his salary is dust before he even gets his first check… So, in reality, he has a true deal of 6 years $58 million. I think it’s pathetic anyone should have to pay over 50% of their income to the tax man.

  8. xxwhodatxx says: Mar 8, 2013 2:03 PM

    How do you not pay taxes for 6 years?

  9. condor75 says: Mar 8, 2013 2:05 PM

    Just because a court awards damages, doesn’t mean you ever see a penny of it. Cant get blood from a stone

  10. champ1118 says: Mar 8, 2013 2:06 PM

    Maybe he could ask J.J. Stokes for a loan?

  11. 303bengalguy says: Mar 8, 2013 2:13 PM

    Would you expect anything else out of this guy?

  12. fwippel says: Mar 8, 2013 2:14 PM

    xxwhodatxx says:
    Mar 8, 2013 2:03 PM
    How do you not pay taxes for 6 years?

    —————————————–
    The outgoing Treasury secretary (Tim Geithner) failed to pay taxes for four years while he was at the IMF. Oddly enough, he was deemed qualified to run the Treasury department. His excuse? Turbo Tax failed him.

    Maybe the Romanowski’s could try that excuse.

  13. marvsleezy says: Mar 8, 2013 2:15 PM

    Did he play for the Broncos, or did the broncos play him?

  14. tigerlilac says: Mar 8, 2013 2:17 PM

    This is an area where the NFL and the NFLPA have really failed the athelete. This past season I was introduced to a financial adviser to some of the more astute NFL players by a business associate. The advisor was looking at some real estate transactions we were originating. He told me he picks a very linited number of players to advise based on their business acumen and willingness to learn, not just invest as told. He continually mentors the players and sets them up with charities that work for both the charity and the player. Alas, this model is the exception. Most advisers to the NFL players put them in inappropriate investments with inordinate risk as seen above. I forget the exact percentage of players that go bankupt but I do rememeber it was a staggering number.

  15. skiss68 says: Mar 8, 2013 2:29 PM

    In other news… Joe Flacco is scheduled to earn 20.1 million next year… His tax liability is 10.44 million… OVER 50%. —————————————————-
    This really is ridiculous. Phil Mickelson is getting blasted for making comments about his high tax rate. There is no way anyone should have to pay half of their money to uncle sam.

  16. tedmurph says: Mar 8, 2013 2:29 PM

    I think it’s pathetic anyone should have to pay over 50% of their income to the tax man.

    ———————————————————-

    Nobody, and I mean nobody ends up paying 50% of their income in taxes. Right wing myth.

  17. justanotherdummy says: Mar 8, 2013 2:32 PM

    Do you know how you make a small fortune in the horse industry? Start with a large one. Anybody who invests in horses to turn a profit has rocks in their head. It sounds like he got taken to the cleaners, bad beat for him.

  18. chawk12thman says: Mar 8, 2013 2:32 PM

    xxwhodatxx says:
    Mar 8, 2013 2:03 PM
    How do you not pay taxes for 6 years?
    *******************************************
    They filed their taxes each year…..Just that the deductions taken for the business he invested in turned out to be “non-qualified” by the IRS’s determination that the business was not a for profit business. Thus, they need to pay them plus the interest back to the IRS.

    It was all spelled out in the report.

  19. boogerhut says: Mar 8, 2013 2:33 PM

    xxwhodatxx says:
    Mar 8, 2013 2:03 PM
    How do you not pay taxes for 6 years?
    ————————————————————–
    Read folks. Due to behavior of the company he invested in certain deductions were disallowed by the IRS at a later date. Happens alot. As long as the mistake is not malicious there is usually no problem. He also got a settlement from the offending company.

  20. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 8, 2013 2:38 PM

    If you itemize, are PED’s tax deductable?

  21. canetic says: Mar 8, 2013 2:40 PM

    Let’s be honest — it’s not like Geithner just decided not to pay income tax for three years. He worked for the IMF and they didn’t withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from his check. He paid those himself to the IRS, but didn’t pay the additional 50% that is paid by the employer and you never see. He took responsibility, paid the back amount due, and paid a substantial fine. What else do you want him to do. And honestly I don’t know if this is a political issue but just trying to set the record straight with actual facts.

  22. grandpoopah says: Mar 8, 2013 2:42 PM

    To paraphrase Rick James, “HGH is a hell of a drug.”

  23. nygiantstones says: Mar 8, 2013 2:45 PM

    Scumbag in the game, ergo scumbag in life.

  24. jackericsson says: Mar 8, 2013 2:45 PM

    I’m picturing Romanowski standing beside Kordell Stewart hitting the side of his helmet with his hand yelling “Duh”, after Kordell threw an INT in the playoffs. KARMA!

  25. thegronk87 says: Mar 8, 2013 2:46 PM

    I didn’t realize that steroids cost that much.

  26. macwomack says: Mar 8, 2013 2:53 PM

    can he claim steroids as an expense from his playing days?

    if so it might just be a wash … dude took a ton of roids.

  27. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 8, 2013 2:54 PM

    “Oh honey, a horse farm, for me? Aren’t you just the sweetest thing ever!”.

  28. punish22 says: Mar 8, 2013 2:55 PM

    He may have the cash in his pill box brief case. Just sayin.

    Shoe-la knows all!

  29. mckaymatt says: Mar 8, 2013 2:57 PM

    In other news… Joe Flacco is scheduled to earn 20.1 million next year… His tax liability is 10.44 million… OVER 50% of his salary is dust before he even gets his first check… So, in reality, he has a true deal of 6 years $58 million. I think it’s pathetic anyone should have to pay over 50% of their income to the tax man.
    __________________________________

    It seems ridiculous having to pay 50% of your earnings to taxes, however making 100 million playing football is pretty ridiculous when you consider the debt the US is in…

    And I doubt many of these guys making that type of money are paying 50% in taxes…hire a good accountant and you can move it around to avoid (whoops) plan around taxes.

  30. hornbuckle says: Mar 8, 2013 2:57 PM

    Maybe Florio can help him out.

  31. ddavis83 says: Mar 8, 2013 2:59 PM

    It’s all good Romo just hop on that concussion lawsuit train.

  32. bradygirl12 says: Mar 8, 2013 2:59 PM

    Really,how stupid can you be? You’ll never outrun the IRS. Is he getting financial advice from Vince Young?

  33. rdrs68 says: Mar 8, 2013 3:01 PM

    humb0lt says: Mar 8, 2013 1:53 PM

    Once a Raider always a Raider.
    ————————————

    Once a DH always a DH right humbolt?

  34. lgbarn says: Mar 8, 2013 3:10 PM

    Probably pilfered the horse steroids for his own use.

  35. phinfan says: Mar 8, 2013 3:13 PM

    I bet he feels like a horses ___!

  36. conormacleod says: Mar 8, 2013 3:15 PM

    Should have just bought a Burger King franchise.

  37. albertmn says: Mar 8, 2013 3:29 PM

    Note that the claimed amount Flacco would pay in taxes reportedly includes federal, state, and county taxes, as well as Medicare tax. But, those are estimates made by others, and don’t take into account any deductions, but rather just look at the tax rates. I would venture that no one’s gross income is the same as their taxable income, so I think it is slightly overblown. In other news, he will still make more money than he should ever spend (unless he is stupid on the Curt Schilling/Bill Romanowski level and blows it). But, since this board leans waaaaay right and too political, I’m sure I will get about a 30-1 ratio of thumbs down to up.

  38. raiderapologist says: Mar 8, 2013 3:29 PM

    humb0lt says: Mar 8, 2013 1:53 PM

    Once a Raider always a Raider.
    ————–
    Once a Bronco always a Bronco? Once a 49er always a 49er? humb0lt will talk while he can, because you can never find him in November. Sure, once in awhile he’ll pop his little pinhead up and post something manly, such as, “I believe in you, Philip!”, but mostly he just hides. Super Bowl Express!

  39. madmax80 says: Mar 8, 2013 3:33 PM

    He had a lesser known business venture which also didnt do too well. It was a spin off from GNC where he spits vitamin supplements directly into the customers mouth.

  40. bowmanj35 says: Mar 8, 2013 3:33 PM

    maybe spitting in the face of the IRS will get him somewhere.

  41. JSpicoli says: Mar 8, 2013 3:41 PM

    He is what he is, and what that is a a guy you hate when he is on an opposing team, and you love when he is on your team. I know, i’ve lived it.

    He also has been a pretty entertaining personality on TV and Radio this past couple years. I hope he can keep it together and stay employed doing the color on Raider post-games. His emotion is classic, and he may be a nut ball, but he knows football and let’s us peek into the mentality of an NFL player.

    Boar-Hunters!

  42. schmitty2 says: Mar 8, 2013 4:13 PM

    skinsrock says:Mar 8, 2013 2:02 PM

    In other news… Joe Flacco is scheduled to earn 20.1 million next year… His tax liability is 10.44 million… OVER 50% of his salary is dust before he even gets his first check… So, in reality, he has a true deal of 6 years $58 million. I think it’s pathetic anyone should have to pay over 50% of their income to the tax man.

    I agree with you BUT I think Joe can still survive on 9.6 mil per year after taxes

  43. crazyphatdude14 says: Mar 8, 2013 4:21 PM

    For the record. Nothing in the article states that Romo is broke. It just states that the tax deductions were wrong and they owe that money back. Maybe he doesn’t have $5 million on have, but with his CSN gig, and maybe liquidate some other assets, he will likely pay it off no problem.

  44. rajbais says: Mar 8, 2013 4:21 PM

    Haha dumbass!!!

  45. weeniss says: Mar 8, 2013 4:57 PM

    Ah I love seeing these pro athletes getting into trouble after they retire.

  46. jimeejohnson says: Mar 8, 2013 8:26 PM

    tedmurph says: “Nobody, and I mean nobody ends up paying 50% of their income in taxes. Right wing myth.”

    Right wing myths like Carter wasn’t a good President and Obama’s a Muslim. Depends and Kleenex Corps. still celebrating Mitt’s defeat.

  47. chi01town says: Mar 8, 2013 10:16 PM

    SCUMB BAG.. I NEVER LIKED THIS BUM AND I HOPE THEY LOCK HIS RAGGADY A$$ UP TIGHT.

  48. joetoronto says: Mar 9, 2013 4:52 AM

    humb0lt says:
    Mar 8, 2013 1:53 PM
    Once a Raider always a Raider.
    ***************************************************
    When does the “Super Bowl Express” talk start this year, dumbolt?

    Choo choo!

  49. omniusprime says: Mar 9, 2013 8:49 AM

    A fool and his money soon go separate ways! How stupid was Dumbanowski to invest so much in so little? I’m sure he’ll end up going to one of those corrupt tax firms that promise to settle tax bills for pennies on the dollar, damned tax deadbeat. It’s rich tax deadbeats like Dumbanowski that bankrupt our government, sad they don’t get the proper punishment!

    Pay Your Taxes Deadbeat Dumbanowski!!!

  50. fanofevilempire says: Mar 9, 2013 12:48 PM

    taxes sux, the worst part is the waste of our tax paying money, I ‘m below middle class and I don’t complain about the tax but at least make my life a little better.like they say, who cares.

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