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3 ex-football players charged in Fla. tax ring

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May 1, 2012 04:25 PM EST | AP

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MIAMI — Three former professional football players are among eight charged in a South Florida tax refund and identity theft scheme.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday the FBI operated an undercover check-cashing store in North Miami used by the suspects from February through April. The group allegedly cashed about $500,000 in fraudulent refund checks. The money was paid out of FBI funds and no checks were actually cashed.

Former Oakland Raiders and New York Giants defensive tackle William Joseph is one of the former NFL players arrested. The other is running back Michael Bennett, once a Minnesota Vikings first-round pick who played for several teams. A third ex-player, Louis Gachelin, played professionally in Europe.

They face forgery and theft charges. It wasn't immediately clear if they had lawyers.