O.J. Simpson Probably Won't Be Strapped For Cash If He's Granted Parole

by Priscilla Totiyapungprasert
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Former NFL player O. J. Simpson faces a parole hearing on Thursday in Nevada, where, if granted parole, his release could come early as Oct. 1. Simpson has served almost all of the minimum nine years of his nine-to-33 year sentence in the Lovelock Correctional Center. According to former Lovelock employees, Simpson has had a clean disciplinary record and leads a routine life, evolving from loner to popular, model inmate.

But what will life after prison be like for the sports legend turned Prisoner 1027820? For starters, he probably won't be strapped for cash.

His estimated net worth ranges from $250,000 to $3 million, according to different sources. Tom Scotto, a close friend of Simpson, told USA Today that he hopes the two of them will be playing golf in Florida like "old times" again. He also said that years ago Simpson invested $5 million in his personal pension. Then there's Simpson's NFL pension that brings in $1,700 a month, although there are discrepancies over the actual number. Sports Illustrated reported that Simpson's NFL pension could be as much as $25,000 a month. Simpson also receives a pension from the Screen Actor's Guild for his acting and producing credits. After retiring from football, Simpson worked as a Monday Night Football commentator and embarked on a film career that lasted until his 1994 arrest for double murder.

Simpson's total assets are still disputed. Some people who aren't happy about that are the families of the murder victims.

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Simpson's pension fund cannot be touched by creditors despite Simpson owing millions of dollars after his 1995 high-profile murder trial. Although he was acquitted in the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, both families sued Simpson in civil court, where he was found guilty. As a result, Simpson was ordered to pay $25 million in punitive damages to the families. The Goldman family was awarded an additional $8.5 million in compensatory damages.

But the families claim Simpson had paid very little of that $33.5 million total — which would be closer to $40 million now with interest. "The killer worked really hard to hide all of his assets, so we're always coming up against some kind of wall," said Kim Goldman, sister of Ron, to CNBC. Goldman claims her family has collected less than one percent of the money that's owed them.

In 2014, Simpson's lawyer Patricia Palm told CNBC that she did not know how much money her client had. While it's possible that Simpson's net worth has fallen since his days as a football and film star, his pockets have likely remained deep.