Chris Zorich still saying, 'Dude, where's my $864,645?'

Chris Zorich still cant find the more than $864,000 from his charity that has gone missing since the Chicago Tribune reported last month about the seemingly disturbing handling of funds for his organization.

But, hey, at least the former Notre Dame star and veteran defensive lineman in the NFL has finally disabled the link he had on his Web site – ChrisZorich.org – that accepted online donations as of less than three weeks ago despite the fact that the Illinois attorney general’s office canceled the registration of his charity in 2004, making it ineligible to solicit, receive or hold funds in Illinois. More disturbing? Zorich’s charity has not filed a tax return since 2002.

We’re not suggesting that Zorich is guilty of any improprieties here, but it certainly doesn’t look good from a distance. And it doesn't look good to the Internal Revenue Service, either, which has filed a $10,000 lien against his charity.

“I haven't found the (bank) statement yet,” Zorich wrote the Tribune in an e-mail this week according to reporter Jared Hopkins. “When I do, I'll let you know.”

One would think that someone facing scrutiny for the handling of such a sum of money would show a little more urgency in, you know, locating that missing $864,000 or so. Of course, if that $864,000 has gone missing, well, that would present a problem for someone in such a jam. Wouldn't it? At some point, you have to wonder too what Zorich's employer -- Notre Dame -- thinks about the situation.

“I'm in the process of hiring an accounting firm to help me sort through all of the information,” Zorich wrote. “The attorney general's office has contacted me. Other than that, that's all the progress that has been made.”

Zorich, who played primarily for the Chicago Bears during his career, told the Tribune on June 8 that he stopped accepting donations to his organization “around 2005.” Of course, the link for a donation on his site was live less than three weeks ago. Hopefully for the sake of those individuals and organizations that donated money to Zorich over the years, he locates that money soon and is able to disperse it to some charitable organizations that can put it to good use without losing complete track of it. Otherwise, he's got some more explaining as the hunt for the missing money continues.

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