Sports News

Atletico’s Diego Costa gets €540,000 tax fraud fine, avoids jail time

Spanish forward Diego Costa has been handed €543,208 fine and sentenced six-month imprisonment for tax fraud.

However, the striker avoids jail terms as per Spanish law by paying an additional fine.

The 31-year-old, who plays for Atletico Madrid in La Liga, was pleaded guilty in Madrid court on Thursday of evading €1.1 million in taxes on his image rights.

Costa faced charges related to his 2014 transfer from Chelsea, where he reportedly used a complex set of deals assigning his image rights to a series of foreign companies.

As being reported, the footballer paid tax authorities the outstanding amount in full last year and will pay the €543,208 penalty on top of that.

Read More : Cristiano Ronaldo and Other Juventus Players Forgo Four Months’ Salaries

His prison sentence has been replaced by an additional fine, as is customary in Spain for jail terms of under two years.

An Atletico spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday that “Diego Costa reached an agreement a few months ago with the prosecutor and has already paid the corresponding fine plus interest and the request for a prison sentence was withdrawn,”

“This week it is expected that an agreement will be ratified in court, as is mandatory”, he further added.

The striker is the latest player found guilty by the Spanish authorities over tax evasion on image rights, with a number of high-profile cases in recent years.

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In January 2019, Cristiano Ronaldo agreed to hand over a total of €18.8m in fines and taxes and was given a 23-month sentence, substituted for another €365,000 payment.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi was given a €2m fine and a 21-month jail term — later replaced by an additional €500,000 — in 2017.

A few other notable cases have involved Luka Modric, Marcelo, Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria and Javier Mascherano.

Saman Siddiqui

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