Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has been accused by the Barcelona public prosecutor of evading more than €900,000 in tax, according to a report in Spain.
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Spanish newspaper El Periodico have claimed that the 27-year-old Chilean actively withheld taxes from the Inland Revenue of more than €983,443 over three years, and could face jail time if found guilty.
According to prosecutor Miguel Angel Perez de Gregorio, Sanchez had failed to declare the income received from his image rights deal for three years and accused of laundering the money to an offshore account in Malta called Numidia Trading.
The Chilean split the money into two and deposited €587,677 in 2012 and a further €395,766 into the Maltese account.
The player also failed to declare the existence of the Maltese account for which he is accused of ‘simulating the transfer of those rights’.
A possible lengthy jail sentence could be the outcome for Alexis if he is found guilty by the prosecutor.
Sanchez isn’t the first player to be involved in tax fraud allegations while playing for Barcelona. Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge, were found guilty of defrauding Spanish tax authorities of €4.1 million, earning him a 21-month suspended sentence after paying €1.7m in fines and a voluntary repayment of €5.1m in August 2013.
Javier Mascherano was given a suspended prison sentence of one year after admitting to two counts of tax fraud. He repaid his debt in full and paid a fine before his punishment.