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Chicago Lawyer Given 18 Months In Prison For Defrauding NFL Players

A former Chicago attorney has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for orchestrating a tax fraud scheme that impacted the finances of several National Football League players.

During a Wednesday hearing, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber said Gary Stern's scheme not only defrauded the Internal Revenue Service out of millions of dollars in tax revenue but also financially damaged victims like former NFL linebacker Adalius Thomas.

Thomas, who played with Super Bowl XXXV champions New England Patriots, told the court his credit has been so ruined by Stern's schemes that he can't lease a car.

Before he was sentenced, the 58-year-old Stern wept as he apologized to his family and victims.

Stern pleaded guilty last year to funneling renewable energy tax credits through multiple business entities for wealthy clients to claim at least nearly $5 million in tax credits. Nearly 20 current and former NFL stars lost money as part of the fraud.

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