Footballer Samuel Eto'o charged with tax fraud

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Footballer Samuel Eto'o charged with tax fraud

The world of football has been rocked with another scandal, as legendary footballer Samuel Eto'o is charged with tax fraud.
Footballer Samuel Eto'o faces Tax fraud charges
Top striker Eto’o could face a jail sentence of over 10 years, according to respected Spanish newspaper El Pais, which reports that a Spanish prosecutor is pursuing the striker for alleged tax fraud while at Barcelona.

The former Cameroon international striker, 35, currently playing for Antalyaspor in Turkey. He has been accused of tax fraud that could amount up to €3.46 million!

He allegedly hid some of his endorsement earnings from tax authourities. Eto’o is alleged to have been accused of failing to declare his sponsorship revenues, including those from a major boot manufacturer, to the authorities when filing his tax returns between 2006 and 2009.
Jail time after such an illustrious football career will be devastating to the striker and to his multitude of fans.

If the allegations are true, this would mean he avoided paying the top tax rate, which at the time stood at 45 per cent.

But umfortunately, there are four charges levelled against him, El Pais claims, which could amount to 10 and a half years behind bars and a fine of €14m!
How little things come back to haunt you. Additionally, his agent at the time, Josep Maria Mesalles, would also stand trial if the reported prosecution effort is accepted.

Eto’o is not the first Barcelona striker to come under scrutiny for his tax returns. Not too long ago, Lionel Messi was handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence in July after being found guilty of tax evasion. The Ballon d’Or winner only avoided time behind bars due to his previously clean criminal record.

That's not all. Currently, Brazilian golden boy Neymar is accused of similar charges, and on Wednesday the prosecutor requested that he be sentenced to two years in jail if he is found guilty.

Like Messi, Neymar is unlikely to find himself in prison, even if the charges against him are found to have substance due to lacking previous convictions.

But Eto’o who spent five successful seasons at Barca between 2004 and 2009, during which time he scored 129 goals for the club in 201 appearances, might not be so lucky, especially since he is no longer plying his trade in Spain.

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