Luka Modric 'accepts suspended prison sentence' after becoming latest big star to reach deal over tax evasion

By Mirror: Saturday, September 22nd 2018 at 13:12 GMT +3 | Premier League
Real Madrid star Luka Modric [Courtesy]

Real Madrid star Luka Modric has reportedly admitted two counts of tax fraud and accepted an eight-month suspended prison sentence as part of a plea bargain deal with Spanish prosecutors.

Respected Spanish daily El Mundo said Modric would be given the chance to substitute the prison term for a fine totalling (£54,000) €60,000.

Earlier this month the paper revealed Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho had struck a plea bargain deal with Spanish prosecutors over his £2.97 million (€3.3 million) bill.

The 33-year-old Modric, recently voted the 2018 World Cup’s best player, was accused last November of tax fraud of up to €870,728 (£783.64) in image rights in 2013 and 2014 using a limited company based in Luxembourg.

The company, Ivano, S.A.R.L, was named after his son Ivano and managed by his wife Vanja Bosnia.

Spanish tax authorities sought information from authorities in the Isle of Man as part of their probe into Modric amid warnings it could accuse him of defrauding a higher amount.

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But prosecutors decided after inquiries there was no basis to increase the penalty they were seeking.

El Mundo reported the footballer would have to pay a total of £1.26 million (€1.4 million) if he wanted to wipe his slate clean with the Spanish taxman for the years 2013 and 2014.

The payment would cover the amount defrauded, a fine of £313,450 (€48,291) representing 40 per cent of the fraud, and the fine substituting the prison term.

He is already said to have paid £900,000 of the amount owed at the start of the criminal proceedings.

Luka Modric has reportedly admitted two counts of tax fraud and accepted an eight-month suspended prison sentence [Courtesy]

Recent reports in Spain have claimed he has also been fined £1.08 million (€1.2 million) for irregularities in his 2012 tax return which he is contesting but is being dealt with administratively rather than by way of criminal proceedings.

Modric, who signed for Real Madrid in August 2012, remains under the spotlight in his homeland over allegations he provided false information in the trial of former Dinamo Zagreb director Zdravko Mamic.

He was charged in March and is awaiting a trial date. Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren was charged with the same offence of perjury earlier this week as he was accused of giving false statements during Mamic’s trial.

Mamic, once the most powerful figure in Croatian football, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison in June after being found guilty of syphoning off millions of pounds in transfer fees.

Modric is one of several high-profile footballers in Spain accused of tax fraud in recent years.

Former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo accepted a two-year suspended prison sentence earlier this summer after reaching a deal with prosecutors over his tax fraud case.

He also agreed to pay a fine of more than £15 million (€16.7 million) after pleading guilty to evading £13.1 million (€14.7 million) in tax on image rights between 2011 and 2014.

Earlier this month it emerged Mourinho had done a deal with Spanish prosecutors accusing him of a £2.97 million (€3.3 million) tax fraud.

The Old Trafford manager accepted a six-month jail sentence for each of the two financial crimes he was accused of after accepting wrongdoing as part of the agreement with prosecutors, respected Spanish newspaper El Mundo said.

It also reported he had agreed to pay a fine totalling £1.78 million (€1.982 million) representing 60 per cent of the amount defrauded.

Prosecutors alleged Mourinho owed the Spanish state almost £2.9 million in undeclared revenue relating to image rights in 2011 and 2012.

The allegations involved claims false information was given to Spain’s Tax Agency during a 2015 probe, prompting prosecutors to reopen a case that had been archived after Mourinho paid a six-figure fine.

Mourinho was summonsed to court following revelations by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) Consortium which includes Spanish newspaper El Mundo, German newspaper Der Spiegel and the Sunday Times.

One of the claims was that the Spanish taxman was supplied with fictitious expenses to make it appear an offshore shell company Mourinho benefited from was functioning as an active firm.

Earlier this month Real Madrid star Marcelo agreed to a four-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of POUNDS 670,000 after striking a deal with Spanish prosecutors over his tax fraud case.

Prison sentences of two years or less are normally suspended in Spain for first-time offenders.

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