September 23, 2009
Tough news for Champions Tour golfer Jim Thorpe, as he's pleading guilty to failing to pay $2 million-plus in income tax.
Thorpe was charged with seven counts of failure to pay tax on income earned in 2002, 2003 and 2004, and faces up to two years in prison and a fine of $4.1 million. Thorpe, who has three PGA wins and 13 Champions Tour wins, had argued that he did not willfully attempt to avoid paying taxes. But the end result is the same -- he owes the money.
It's easy to see how this could happen. Tuesday at the Tour Championship, Padraig Harrington talked about how prize money wasn't "real" because it goes straight into a bank account. (Pretty much everybody listening wouldn't have minded a cut of Paddy's "not real" money, but that's neither here nor there.) But the point remains -- although these guys make boatloads of money, they need to be able to trust that it's getting routed to the right places at the right times. And if it's not, the consequences are severe. Hopefully other golfers will learn from Thorpe's problems, and hopefully Thorpe himself will be able to resolve everything as quickly as possible.
Golfer Jim Thorpe pleads guilty to tax evasion [AP via Yahoo! Sports]