IRS ‘poking around’ in Saints bounty program

The NFL has already dropped the hammer on the Saints and now that their bleeding carcasses have been left for dead, the vultures are beginning to circle. And yes that analogy was extreme, but that’s what we do around these parts.

The circling vultures are two federal agencies with the main vulture being the IRS. And though the IRS hasn’t taken “any formal steps” against the Saints or any players involved, when there’s money that was made without Uncle Sam getting his cut, someone always has to pay up.

The “Bountygate” transgressions of the New Orleans Saints have drawn the scrutiny of at least two federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, a government source told The Sports Xchange late Sunday night.

The government source emphasized several times in a 20-minute telephone conversation that the federal agencies have taken no formal steps against the Saints or individuals, and termed the likelihood of any kind of action as “speculative at best.” But he acknowledged that the government is “definitely monitoring” the situation. He said the agencies have not yet requested background information from the NFL, and have not asked for a copy of the report released by the league last week detailing the Saints’ excesses, but said such action is possible.

“They’re kind of poking around,” he said, “to see if there might be anything there.”

The IRS could technically become involved if it determines that some players received payments in the scheme, which purportedly included a pool of as much as $50,000 and allegedly rewarded defenders for “knockouts” or “cart-offs,” and that such payments were unreported. The source did not characterize the involvement of the second federal agency or hint at what department it might be.

If you’re a Saints fan, I’m sorry to tell that you can probably bet that this whole thing isn’t going away anytime soon.

But you already knew that.

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