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Man imprisoned for sex assault pleads guilty to tax fraud

SEATTLE — Disgraced former Seattle area professional soccer player and team owner Dion Earl pleaded guilty Monday to federal tax fraud in a third criminal case for which he faces prison.

Earl, 48, was serving a 12-year prison term for two Arizona sexual assaults when he was sentenced in December to serve an additional 33 months after pleading guilty in a Kirkland, Washington rape case. On Monday, Earl pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle in the almost $1.1 million tax fraud case as part of a deal in which four other charges were dropped, The Seattle Times reported. Federal prosecutors will recommend one year in prison and $695,000 in restitution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Arlen Storm said Earl made claims about employers that showed he was due very large tax refunds. In fact, Storm said Dion Earl hadn’t worked for many of the employers in years he claimed he did.

Earl admitted the fraud scheme involved several car dealerships where he had worked. Earl also admitted to falsely inflating his income through his various businesses, while overstating mortgage interest he’d paid on four properties.

It was while carrying out the tax fraud scheme over a six-year period from 2008 to 2014 that Earl bought the rights to an expansion team in the fledgling Major Arena Soccer League in 2014 that he later called the Seattle Impact.

Sentencing is set for April 9.

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