President of the Cameroon Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o, has been sentenced to 22-month in jail..
His former agent, Jose Maria Mesalles, who he referred to as a father, was also handed a one year jail term.
But since neither of them has a criminal record, they will not serve time in prison.
They were given suspended prison sentences for tax fraud of 3.8 million euros between 2006 and 2009.
The former Barcelona ace, in a statement, has admitted and accepted responsibility for the offence and also promised to pay the fines.
He, however, placed the blame on Mesalles, who he viewed as a father at the time of the offences.
“It was my father who took care of the child I was then,” Eto’o said according to Marca.
“I’m going to pay but I’ve always done what my father told me I had to do,” he said.
The former African Footballer of the Year went ahead to slam a lawsuit against Mesalles, accusing him of fraud and misappropriation of his assets.
The matter is still in the investigative phase.
Mesalles refused to testify in court during the case when both men were punished, with prosecutors asking the court to give them four years and six months sentence.
However, their sentences were reduced to only 22 months for Eto’o and one year for his former agent.
They will pay fines amounting to almost 2 million euros. Eto’o was handed four fines for each offence.
And the Cameroonian’s fines amounted to 1.8 million euros, while Mesalles will pay four fines totalling 905,155 euros.
Eto’o fines came as a result of the former football star failing to declare income he made from the transfer of his image rights to Puma and Barcelona in his personal income tax return from 2006 to 2009.
Instead, he taxed the image rights through two companies – one in Spain and one in Hungary – in order to avoid being taxed as heavily.
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