United's Sanchez strikes deal over Spain tax fraud

AFP
MANCHESTER United striker Alexis Sanchez has struck a deal with Spanish authorities to accept a 16-month suspended jail sentence for tax fraud in return for avoiding a trial.
AFP
Reuters

Nathan Dyer scores Swansea City’s second goal against Notts County during their FA Cup fourth-round replay at Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales, on Tuesday. The Swans romped to an 8-1 victory. Swansea’s fellow English Premier League side Huddersfield Town fought back against second-tier Birmingham City to progress with a 4-1 extra-time replay win and will host Manchester United. Third-tier Rochdale knocked out Championship club Millwall 1-0. 

MANCHESTER United striker Alexis Sanchez has struck a deal with Spanish authorities to accept a 16-month suspended jail sentence for tax fraud in return for avoiding a trial.

Sanchez, who joined United from Arsenal last month, faced being tried over the fraud of 983,000 euros (US$1.21 million) linked to image rights during his time at Spanish giant Barcelona, according to details of the deal.

Prosecutors said the 29-year-old Chile forward had failed to declare any proceeds from the exploitation of his image rights in 2012 and 2013 and had also failed to declare that he was the owner of a company set up in Malta, Numidia Trading Ltd, which owned the rights.

Appearing by video link from London, Sanchez admitted he had “made an incorrect tax payment” and that he had settled the issue with tax authorities.

He was sentenced to two eight-month suspended jail sentences to run consecutively, although prosecutors have called for the sentence to be lifted after two years if he does not re-offend.

Sanchez scored 47 goals in 141 appearances for Barcelona before leaving in 2014 to join Arsenal in England.

He is rumored to be the highest paid player in the Premier League following his move to United, reportedly earning around 500,000 pounds (US$710,000) a week before tax.

Sanchez is one of a number of high-profile players to have fallen foul of the tax authorities in Spain.

In 2016, Barcelona midfielder and Argentina captain Lionel Messi was sentenced to a 21-month jail sentence that was eventually reduced to a fine of 2.1 million euros.

Last month, Real Madrid’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric paid Spanish fiscal authorities close to 1 million euros to settle his own image rights tax case.

The former Barcelona and Liverpool player Javier Mascherano has accepted a one-year suspended jail sentence over a 1.5-million euro tax fraud.

In potentially the largest case, Spanish authorities are currently investigating World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid for tax fraud amounting to 14.7 million euros.

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