A court in Barcelona has announced that ormer Cameroon footballer, Samuel Eto’o has agreed on a deal with Spanish prosecutors to avoid being jailed for tax fraud he committed while he was playing for Barcelona.
Eto’o played for Barcelona from 2004 to 2009 and has received a fine and a 22-month suspended sentence but won’t serve any time, as it is customary in Spain for prison terms of below two years for non-violent crimes.
After Eto’o agreed with the government, he will pay a fine of 1.8 million euros ($1.9 million).
The four-time African footballer of the year and Jose Maria Mesalles ( his former representative, who was sentenced to 12 months and a fine for the part he played) will reimburse Spanish tax authorities for the amount defrauded (3.9 million Euros).
Prosecutors accused Eto’o of failure to declare income from the transfer of image rights between 2006 and 2009.
According to them, the image rights of Eto’o was transferred by him to a company based in Hungary which declared his earnings in that country, a country with one of the lowest tax rate in Europe.
A second Spanish company declared them in Spain at the corporate tax rate, a rate lower than the income tax that should have been paid.
The prosecution maintained that Eto’o was the “real holder” of the image rights and added that the transfer was fraudulent and only designed to pay less tax.
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