CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Chicago Bears player Chris Zorich avoided prison time on federal tax charges, as a judge on Friday placed him on probation for failing to pay taxes “in a timely fashion.”

The 43-year-old had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of not filing federal income tax returns from 2006 to 2009.

Judge Daniel Martin sentenced Zorich to 36 months of probation. He could have spent as much as 16 months in prison.

Over that time, he allegedly made more than $1 million, including income from a charity he founded.

His attorney previously said Zorich was looking forward to putting the case behind him.

The Chicago native was on the 1988 Notre Dame team that won a national championship. He played for the Bears from 1991 to 1996 and ended his career with the Washington Redskins in 1997.

Zorich must pay $71,000 in back taxes as part of a plea agreement.

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