Barcelona, Spain, Jun 20 (EFE).- Former Barcelona player Samuel Eto’o on Monday accepted a suspended 22-month-prison sentence having admitted to defrauding 3,872,621 euros from Spanish tax authorities between 2006 and 2009.
The Cameroonian’s former agent Jose María Mesalles was also handed a suspended one-year prison sentence on the same charges.
Eto’o blamed the tax evasion on Mesalles, whom he has always referred as ‘a second father’ although he did not mention him explicitly.
The prison sentences will be suspended since neither of them has a criminal record, both have admitted wrongdoing and partially repaid the fees.
“I admit the facts and I will pay, but let it be known that I was a child then and that I always did what my father asked me to do,” Eto’o said before a Barcelona court.
Eto’o has been sentenced to pay 1.8 million euros in fines, and his former agent to pay 905,155 euros.
Between 2006 and 2009, Eto’o obtained significant income from the transfer of his image rights to the sports brand Puma and Barcelona, but failed to declare it to the tax authorities. EFE