The Former Real Madrid defender and Chelsea legend Ricardo Carvalho became the latest in a series of football stars to be convicted on charges of tax fraud in Spain as he was handed a seven-month jail term, a court filing confirmed on Friday.
The 39-year-old, who now plays in China for Shanghai SIPG, was accused of concealing income from image rights during his time at Real Madrid in 2011 and 2012.
Carvalho has been ordered to pay a fine of €142,822 after the public prosecutor’s office requested the defender’s penalty to be 12 months in prison as well as a €300,000 fine. But the Spanish court considered that request to be ‘disproportionate’, acknowledging that Carvalho had admitted to the offences and returned the amount he is alleged to have hidden, which is around €545,981
He returned the amount but has been sentenced to seven months in prison and fined €142,882.
Carvalho’s guilty plea saw his sentence reduced to seven months.
Under Spanish law, prison sentences for non-violent crimes of less than two years are suspended, which means that Carvalho is unlikely to spend time in jail. After winning the Champions League with Porto, the defender followed Jose Mourinho to Chelsea where he won three Premier League titles. Carvalho spent six years at Stamford Bridge before joining up with Mourinho at Real Madrid, and the pair won the La Liga title together in 2012.
Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano received 21-month and one-year suspended sentences respectively after being found guilty of tax fraud over their image rights in 2016.
However, five-time World Player of the Year Messi’s sentence was later replaced by a 252,000 euro fine.
Real’s all-time leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in court for a preliminary hearing in July and could yet face trial over accusations he evaded 14.7 million euros ($17.5 million) worth of tax on his image rights between 2011 and 2014.
Source: ( AFP/ UK Metro)