Samuel Eto’o has been sentenced to 22 months in prison and a seven-figure fine after admitting more than £3.25m in tax fraud in Spain.
On Monday, the former Chelsea and Cameroon striker was convicted of his image rights earnings while he played for Barcelona between 2006 and 2009 following a lawsuit alleging fraud by Spanish authorities.
A total of 3,872,621 euros (£3,330,514) was declared incorrect by 41-year-old Eto’o.
A court in Barcelona has sentenced Eto’o to 22 months in prison, who was detained because he had no criminal record and whose sentence was less than two years. He also paid a fine of 1,810,310 euros (£ 1,556,894).
His agent Jose Maria Mesales was also found guilty and will pay a fine of 905,155 euros (778,447 British pounds). Mesales was sentenced to one year in prison, which in practice would also be conditional.
Prosecutors initially demanded that they both serve four years and six months in prison.
Here’s what Marca was quoted as saying outside court: “I’ll admit the facts and I’ll pay, but for the record, I was a kid at the time and I always did as I was told.
The profits, which must be declared as income tax, are hidden in the books of two companies based in Spain and Hungary. Profits transferred to Hungary are not taxed, while profits transferred to Spain are subject to a lower rate than the personal income tax rate.
A third defendant, Jesus Lastre, who runs a profit-shifting Hungarian , was acquitted.