The list of players pursued by Spanish authorities crying tax fraud is starting to resemble a pretty good team,
Call it The Longest Yard: La Liga.
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Xabi Alonso is being accused of not paying taxes on his image rights while a player at Real Madrid, joining Radamel Falcao, Neymar, Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, and Cristiano Ronaldo as World XI-caliber players who’ve faced legal troubles in Spain.
Jose Mourinho even had to travel to Spain earlier this season to face accusations from a Spanish court. Those found guilty have found punishment other than jail time.
Alonso denies any wrongdoing, according to Sky Sports:
Prosecutors say he defrauded the Spanish state of £1.75m between 2010 and 2012 and called for the same sentence to be applied to Alonso’s financial advisor Ivan Zaldua Azcuenaga and the administrator of consultancy shell company, Ignasi Maestre Casanova.
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.
Neymar, his family, Barcelona, and Santos are headed to court.
Not a great Monday for the Brazilian superstar and his clubs. They stand accused of hiding a portion of the transfer fee that helped Neymar head from Santos to the La Liga powerhouse Blaugranas.
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No appeals remain for Neymar, his mother, and their family brand N&N.
From Sky Sports:
The case stems from a complaint by Brazilian investment group DIS, which owned part of Neymar’s transfer rights and alleges that it received less money than it was entitled to when Neymar made the switch.
Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi was found guilty of tax fraud this summer, and is unlikely to serve his 21-month sentence.