Angel Di Maria fined £1.76m after admitting tax fraud while at Real Madrid

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Angel Di Maria.

Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain star Angel di Maria has been handed a hefty fine and a prison sentence over a charge of tax fraud of 1.3 million euros ($1.4 million), Spanish authorities announced on Wednesday.

According to a court document seen by AFP, Di Maria will pay around two million euros to the Spanish authorities after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud committed in 2012 and 2013 when he was a Real Madrid player.

Despite being handed a 16-month sentence, Di Maria will not go to prison as is normal in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying a sentence of less than two years.

Di Maria, 29, played for Madrid between 2010 and 2014, when he joined Manchester United. He then moved to PSG in 2015.

A host of football stars have run into trouble in Spain over suspected tax fraud related to image rights, with Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo summoned to appear in court on July 31 to answer four counts of tax evasion of 14.7 million euros.

Current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been accused by Spanish tax authorities of failing to declare 3.3 million euros during his time in charge of Madrid.

Di Maria is, like Ronaldo and Mourinho, a client of the Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes, who himself has been summoned to appear before the court at Pozuelo de Alarcon, just outside Madrid, on June 27.

Another Mendes client, Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, is suspected of failing to correctly declare 5.6 million euros of income earned from image rights between 2012 and 2013 while he was at Atletico Madrid.

Falcao is now at French champions Monaco.

Madrid prosecutors said that after signing for the Spanish giants from Benfica in 2010, Di Maria had used companies in Panama and Ireland to hide earnings from the marketing of image rights.

In doing so, he shielded 636,000 euros from the Spanish taxman in 2012 and 662,000 in 2013, Spanish authorities said.

Di Maria initially agreed in February of this year to pay 1.45 million euros. Now, the admission of the two counts of fraud in 2012 and 2013 will see him pay an additional fine of almost 780,000 euros.

Di Maria’s home in Paris and the offices of his club PSG were raided last month in relation to another investigation opened in France in the wake of revelations by French investigative news website Mediapart.

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Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo summoned for July 31 tax hearing

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Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, accused of evading 14.7 million euro ($16.5m) in tax, has been summoned to appear before a judge in Spain, judicial sources told AFP on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Portuguese star is facing four charges of fraud through offshore companies between 2011 and 2014.

The hearing will take place at 09:00 GMT on July 31 in a court at Pozuelo de Alarcón, in the suburbs of Madrid, according to Spanish press reports.

Prosecutors accuse Ronaldo, who is the world’s highest paid athlete according to Forbes magazine, of evading tax via two companies based in the British Virgin Islands and Ireland.

The four-time world player of the year who said last week his “conscience is clear” is threatening to leave Real Madrid over the affair.

Ronaldo is currently on duty for Portugal at the Confederations Cup in Russia which ends on July 2.

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho accused of €3.3 million tax fraud from his stint at Real Madrid

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was on Tuesday accused of evading 3.3 million euro ($3.7 million) in tax at Real Madrid, the public prosecutor’s office in Madrid announced.

The 54-year-old Portuguese, who coached Real Madrid from 2010 to 2013, was accused of “two offences against the public treasury,” the office said in a statement.

The announcement comes a week after Real Madrid’s Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo was accused of evading 14.7 million euros in tax through offshore companies.

Ronaldo, 32, has denied the charges and is threatening to leave Spain after running into problems with tax authorities.

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