IRS Investigates Packers' Income

The Internal Revenue Service is investigating to determine if members of the Green Bay Packers reported income from autograph signings, according to a Milwaukee television station.

Witi reported Thursday night that as many as 21 players and two coaches might be involved in the inquiry.

The report also said the IRS is investigating professional athletes in the Milwaukee area, current and former, who were paid to participate in autograph sessions.

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  • The IRS probe started shortly after suburban Mequon sports promoter Ron Marth pleaded guilty in June to federal charges that he sold fake sports autographs, the station said, quoting sources it did not identify.

    Marth had organized several Packers autograph signing sessions and paid players to participate.

    Green Bay Packers spokesman Lee Remmel confirmed Friday that coach Mike Holmgren said at a team meeting several weeks ago that those associated with the Packers should be aware of the laws concerning reporting such income, and be careful to follow them.

    Remmel said that was just one of many things that Holmgren says to the team every year.

    The coach has said he was aware in general terms that tax-related matters "have been brought up," the team spokesman said.

    The Witi report also said Holmgren warned players at a team meeting that, if they did not report income from autograph signings, they should amend their tax returns and pay any tax penalty.

    Ted Reis, Midwest communications director for the IRS, declined to confirm or deny the television report. He said only the individuals who were the subject of any such an investigation, if one were being conducted, could comment.

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