Former football manager Mourinho agrees deal to avoid prison for tax fraud Former football manager Mourinho agrees deal to avoid prison for tax fraud

Former football manager Mourinho agrees deal to avoid prison for tax fraud
07 Feb 2019

Ex-Manchester United football boss Jose Mourinho has avoided prison for tax fraud as part of a deal with Spanish prosecutors but will be expected to pay a hefty fine.

The 56-year-old accepted a one year jail sentence, which was immediately commuted to a fine of E182,500 (US$207,640) following a deal agreed with tax officials in advance. The sum was on top of a separate fine of nearly E2 million (US$2.28 million).

Mourinho, who is Portuguese, was accused of owing E3.3 million (US$3.76 million) to the Spanish tax authorities in 2011 and 2012 when he was coach for Spanish football giant Real Madrid.

Prosecutors said he had created offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and elsewhere to manage his image rights and hide his earnings from tax officials, but had failed to declare them in his tax statements after moving to Spain. Image rights involve the use of an individual’s likeness, voice, signature and mannerisms and can prove very lucrative.

Mourinho is just the latest in a line of high-profile football personalities to strike a deal with the Spanish authorities, which are cracking down on tax evasion and fraud by the country’s many resident star players. Cristiano Ronaldo accepted a fine of E18.8 million (US$21.39) and a suspended 23-month prison sentence in January. 

Marcelo Vieira, who still plays for Real Madrid, also accepted a four month suspended sentence last September over his use of foreign firms to handle almost half a million euros in earnings. Another former Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso is currently facing charges over alleged tax fraud amounting to E2 million, although he denies any wrongdoing.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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Ex-Manchester United football boss Jose Mourinho has avoided prison for tax fraud as part of a deal with Spanish prosecutors but will be expected to pay a hefty fine.

The 56-year-old accepted a one year jail sentence, which was immediately commuted to a fine of E182,500 (US$207,640) following a deal agreed with tax officials in advance. The sum was on top of a separate fine of nearly E2 million (US$2.28 million).

Mourinho, who is Portuguese, was accused of owing E3.3 million (US$3.76 million) to the Spanish tax authorities in 2011 and 2012 when he was coach for Spanish football giant Real Madrid.

Prosecutors said he had created offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and elsewhere to manage his image rights and hide his earnings from tax officials, but had failed to declare them in his tax statements after moving to Spain. Image rights involve the use of an individual’s likeness, voice, signature and mannerisms and can prove very lucrative.

Mourinho is just the latest in a line of high-profile football personalities to strike a deal with the Spanish authorities, which are cracking down on tax evasion and fraud by the country’s many resident star players. Cristiano Ronaldo accepted a fine of E18.8 million (US$21.39) and a suspended 23-month prison sentence in January. 

Marcelo Vieira, who still plays for Real Madrid, also accepted a four month suspended sentence last September over his use of foreign firms to handle almost half a million euros in earnings. Another former Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso is currently facing charges over alleged tax fraud amounting to E2 million, although he denies any wrongdoing.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

OTHER STORIES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Manchester United boss to pay £1.78 million to settle Spanish tax

Football star Ronaldo fined E19m for tax fraud - but avoids prison

Real Madrid's Ronaldo agrees to pay €18.8 million to taxman

 

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