Samuel Eto’o Former Cameroon footballer, has pleaded guilty to possible tax evasion fraud so as to avoid Jail time.
According to reports, the veteran footballer pleaded guilty in a deal with Spanish prosecutors to avoid doing time for tax fraud he committed while playing for Barcelona FC from year 2004 to 2009.
The ex-sportsman following court rulings and agreement with the authorities after guilty plea, was let off with a fine of $1.9 million
[ 1.8 million euros ] and a 22 month suspended sentence. He isn’t mandated to serve jail time based on the Spanish prison terms for non-violent crimes below 2 years.
The 4-times African footballer of the year record holder and his former representative Jose Maria Mesalles who was also sentenced to 12 months and a fine is also expected to pay Spanish tax authorities for tax fraud amounting to 3.9 million euros.
Prosecutors also accused Eto’o of failing to make known to them his income from the transfer of image rights that occurred between 2006 and 2009. According to them, the ex-footballer transferred his image rights to a company based in Hungary , where the tax rate is one of the “lowest in Europe”.
The Prosecution maintained that although, Eto’o was the “real holder of the image rights”, the transfer was fraudulent and only designed to enable him pay less tax. Another Spain based company declared them in Spain at the corporate tax rate, less than the income tax that should have been paid.
Eto’o following this latest development joins the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi ,Neymar jr, and Jose Mourinho. to have had issues with Spanish tax authorities.