Samuel Eto’o guilty of tax fraud, get suspended sentence

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Former Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o guilty of tax fraud as he is handed suspended prison sentence.

Former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o get a 22-month suspended prison sentence by a Spanish court on Monday after admitting tax fraud of €3.8 million ($4m) while he was playing for the Spanish side.

Eto’o has agreed to pay a fine of €1.8m and the €3.8m in tax owed from image rights between 2006 and 2009.

“I admit the facts and I am going to pay what I’m due, but let it be known that I was just a child then and that I always did what my former agent Jose Maria Mesalles, who I considered like a father, asked me to do at that time,” Eto’o, who is now 41, told the court in Barcelona on Monday.

Mesalles was given a one-year suspended jail term.

The former Inter Milan striker fines came as a result of the former football star failing to declare income he made from the transfer of his image rights to Puma and Barcelona in his personal income tax return from 2006 to 2009.

Instead, he taxed the image rights through two companies – one in Spain and one in Hungary – in order to avoid being taxed as heavily.

The prosecution had requested prison sentences of four years and six months each for Eto’o and Mesalles.

The sentences were suspended as neither Eto’o nor Mesalles have a criminal record and the terms are under two years.



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