Alexis Sánchez punished for tax evasion in Spain

Grant SmithFeb 08, 2018

Manchester United attacker Alexis Sanchez has received a 16-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to tax evasion whilst playing for Barcelona between 2012 and 2013.

The Chile worldwide, who arrived at the Red Devils from Arsenal last month, was accused of using an off-shore account in Malta to defraud the Spanish Treasury of £890k (R14,9m) in 2013, during his stint with Barcelona.

Alexis Sanchez has accepted a 16-month prison sentence in relation to committing tax fraud worth €1million during his time with Barcelona.

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.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are just two of "infinite" numbers of players who have been charged, and Felicevich has insisted there will be more.

Sanchez admitted his guilt and agreed to pay the Spanish authorities the money defrauded, plus interest.

The ex-Arsenal star is the latest football figure to be punished by Spanish prosecutors for an apparent dodging of taxes.

"Despite having demonstrated that Alexis has committed no crime, we have been obliged, following the recommendations of our [legal] advisers, to accept the unjustified pact offered in order to palliate the emotional, personal and economic cost of long, tedious, trials where the media are used to publicly expose and judge private matters".

Sanchez's previous Barca partner Lionel Messi got a 21-month jail sentence, decreased to a €252,000 (£223,000) fine, to defraud the Spanish duty experts of €3.1m (£2.76m).

"Almost every member of the Real Madrid and Barcelona squad have been placed in this situation, even though these clubs use a standard pay formula for their first team which has been accepted by the Spanish Treasury in the past".

He described Alexis's offences as only "supposed crimes", even though Sanchez's plea bargain involved admitting he had broken the law.

"Throughout all these cases, whilst violating the rights of those under investigation, the repeated, continuous and obscene leaks have been an element of pressure on the players to force them to accept agreements like the one today, which once again has been leaked to the media".

He labelled the deal unjust, claiming some foreigners were being exposed to "media and political pressure". In some cases, there is no choice but to bow to that pressure and, to avoid greater injustice, accept injustice like this.

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