Former NFL Star Bill Romanowski, Wife File For Bankruptcy Amid DOJ Lawsuit

By Jason Hall

May 2, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

Former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski and his wife, Julie, have reportedly filed for bankruptcy amid an ongoing Department of Justice lawsuit over unpaid taxes, USA TODAY reports.

The bankruptcy filing came less than 24 hours before the couple was scheduled to appear at a hearing on Tuesday (May 1) and months after reports that they owed $15.3 million in taxes after using money from a nutritional supplement company they owned to finance their living expenses.

The filing for bankruptcy will give the Romanowskis a temporary reprieve, automatically pausing the Department of Justice's efforts to collect the debt that it is owed. An attorney representing the couple didn't respond to an e-mailed request for comment, according to USA TODAY.

The lawsuit, which was initially reported last June, accuses the Romanowskis of failing to pay millions in income taxes from 1998 to 2007, taking up the majority of the four-time Super Bowl champion's NFL career, which concluded in 2003. The couple withdrew from bank account registered with Nutrition53, which they founded in 2006, to pay a large sum of their personal expenses, which included plastic surgery and day spa appointments, as well as their adult daughter's rent and adult son's groceries, according to the lawsuit.

“By using N53 to pay their personal living expenses and those of their adult children, the Romanowskis have improperly used N53 to thwart the IRS’s collection of the individual income tax assessments at issue in this case,” the Department of Justice stated in the lawsuit.

Romanowski, 58, faced numerous controversies during his decorated NFL career, which included punching former teammate Marcus Williams in the face, resulting in a crushed eye socket that forced Williams to retire, as well as being implicated in the BALCO steroid scandal. The two-time Pro Bowler spent his career with the San Francisco 49ers (1988-93), Philadelphia Eagles (1994-95), Denver Broncos (1996-01) and then-Oakland Raiders (2002-03).

Romanowski also appeared several in films, which included the role of Guard Lambert in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard.

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