Man United’s Sanchez won’t serve time on 16-month prison sentence

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It’s a good thing that Alexis Sanchez got a big pay raise at Manchester United, because he is going to have to pay up to the Spanish government.

Sanchez was given a 16-month prison sentence after accepting that he avoided paying around $1.2 million in taxes on his image rights, after his representatives laundered the money in a shell company in Malta. The crime occurred in 2012-2013, while the Chilean was still playing with FC Barcelona.

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Sanchez and his representatives agreed to pay back the money plus interest to the Office of the Attorney General. In Spain, only sentences longer than 24 months are met with actual jail time, though Sanchez could find himself in prison if he commits the same crime again.

The 29-year-old is the latest in a string of high-profile soccer players and managers to have been caught defrauding the Spanish government on taxes for their image rights. Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho have all been prosecuted by the government.

Similarly to Romelu Lukaku‘s legal issues stemming from a noise violation last summer in California, Sanchez is probably glad to have this matter behind him, and now he can focus on keeping Manchester United in second place in the Premier League table, and pushing for a UEFA Champions League title.