IRS looking into retired player's charitable foundation

During Chris Zorich’s playing days with the Chicago Bears, he was often as well known for passing out turkeys at Thanksgiving as he was for his work on the gridiron.

Now, the IRS, among others, wants to know where the money is with the Chris Zorich Charitable Foundation. According to a report Wednesday in the Chicago Tribune, Zorich’s foundation reported $864,645 in assets in 2002 in a tax return – the last one filed by the group.

The Illinois attorney general’s office canceled the charity’s registration in 2004 and two months ago the IRS filed a $10,000 lien against the charity. However, the charity collected donations at least into 2005 and the Web site http://www.chriszorich,org still solicits donations. You too can click right here to donate some of your hard-earned dough to the foundation. Hmm.

It was all rather surprising to Zorich, who graduated from law school but did not pass the bar. He works for the University of Notre Dame athletic after a six-year career with the Bears (1991-1996) and one season with the Washington Redskins (1997).

“I was kind of concentrating on other things, not necessarily that the foundation was up to par," Zorich told the Tribune. "To find out things weren't in order is kind of shocking to me."

The executive director of the charity died in January 2008 and Zorich said he had no idea things had fallen by the wayside.

"Things started to get a little shaky in like 2004," Zorich said.

Zorich said he does not know why the IRS filed a lien against his charity, but also said he was unable to provide bank records of where the $864,645 is He said he’s been unable to locate the paperwork in a storage facility just yet.

"It's one of those things where you run across artwork that we got from kids and you're like, 'I remember that, I remember that,' and all of a sudden it's time for the storage unit to close and to come back the next day," he said.

Sounds like the government sure is interested to find out where the money is. Maybe it's time to skip over some of the kids' artwork.

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