Spanish prosecutors have recommended that Cameroonian football great Samuel Eto’o be handed a 10-year jail sentence and pay a staggering €14.3million ($15 million) fine, a court filing revealed on Thursday.
The prosecutor alleges that Eto’o set up a series of front companies to avoid paying taxes during his decade of soccer success in Spain’s La Liga where he notably fronted Barcelona’s attack.
The main charges focus on a company Eto’o allegedly established in 2006 to hide his image rights, hiding some €4 million from tax authorities.
“The footballer pretended he had ceded his rights to two other companies in Hungary and Spain so as to fraudulently avoid paying taxes,” the prosecutor told AFP.
Prosecutors estimate the footballer, a four-time former African Player of the Year who is now at Antalyaspor in Turkey, should reimburse the alleged fraud to tax authorities plus interest, and pay €14.3 million.
A prison sentence of 18 months for the original fraud established in 2006 is supplemented for three years jail for each subsequent year the fraud continued.
The recommendations of the prosecutor are made public in Spain before a trial actually begins and no trial date has yet been set in this case.
Lionel Messi and Neymar, two current Barcelona stars, have also recently been investigated and prosecuted for tax evasion.