Eric Dickerson was once considered one of the greatest NFL players of all time.

Fox Sports, in fact, places him at No. 92 on their All-Time list, citing his “37-year-old record for rushing yards in a season” as one of the myriads of reasons for his placement on the list.

And he was also the fastest running back to reach 10,000 yards in his career.

All told, Eric Dickerson should have been a multi-millionaire several times over.

Instead, he filed for bankruptcy back in 2008 — and according to the Dallas Morning News, he’s one of 78 percent of all NFL players, in that they will file some form of bankruptcy at some point in their career.

Today, Celebrity Net Worth reveals that Dickerson has a $10 million net worth. And, it’s safe to say he’s come a long way in such a short period of time after almost losing it all. But what happened?

Well, let’s just say it involves a fake Italian count who also happened to be a well-known screenwriter, millions of dollars, and a whole lot of intrigue.

Let’s take a look at what happened — and what the football great learned from the experience.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources. 

The Fraud

It seemed almost all too easy to get suckered in to Luigi DiFonzo’s claims. According to The Huffington Post, DiFonzo was a prolific author — who wrote books like “Saint Peter’s Banker” and was a script consultant on the legendary film, “The Godfather.”

He also claimed to be an Italian count. So, if anyone would know anything about money, it would be royalty, right?

Well, not exactly.

According to ABC News, Italy abolished its monarchy back in 1946 (at which time, Italy was formally recognized as a republic). And while titles of nobility still exist — descendants of the last Italian dynasty, the Savoys/Savoias, still use them to this day — they’re used as a matter of courtesy and not as a matter of regal recognition. And, needless to say, the DiFonzos were not now and never have been a member of Italian royalty.

It’s highly unlikely that Eric Dickerson knew all this, though, when he trusted the fake Italian count.

The Fallout

Despite Luigi DiFonzo’s delusions of grandeur, however, The Los Angeles Times reports that he was really little more than a career criminal. In total, he defrauded many — including Eric Dickerson — out of a grand total of $45 million (It’s unclear how much Dickerson lost in the scheme, however).

Before he could fully face justice for his crimes, DiFonzo passed away in August 2000.

What Eric Dickerson Learned From The Experience

It took a long time for Eric Dickerson to get back on his feet, but with a $10 million net worth, it’s safe to say that he’ll be alright for quite some time now.

But he still has some invaluable advice for rising NFL superstars, especially when it comes to handling their own money.

“You have to have someone you can trust [help guide your finances],” he said to NerdWallet. “You think you can always trust yourself, but you can’t always trust yourself, because you see something you want. You know you don’t need it, but I want it, sometimes I want two of them: ‘I want a Ferrari and I want a Bentley.’ I can’t drive two cars, and these cars cost in excess of $400,000 or $500,000. Can I do that? That’s where, with the young athlete, you run into the problem, because you can’t tell them no sometimes.”

Dickerson also said that it’s important for athletes to consider their finances after sports because they can’t play forever.

“It really is difficult to find someone to help you to maneuver through life, and also keep you afloat, because the sports don’t last forever. You can’t play football forever. You can’t play basketball. You just can’t. You want to. I wish I could be 23 years old again, but it’s just not gonna happen,” he said to the outlet.