Alexis Sanchez gets 16-month prison term for tax offences in Spain

Lynette Rowe
February 8, 2018

Alexis Sanchez has been given a suspended 16-month jail sentence in Spain after pleading guilty to tax fraud while playing for Barcelona, Skysports reports.

In a statement issued by the Barcelona prosecutor and seen by Reuters, Sanchez was accused of defrauding the Spanish state of a combined 983,000 euros ($1.2 million) in image rights in 2012 and 2013 by using a shell company in Malta and omitting the earnings from tax returns.

The Chilean, 29, appeared in court via a video link last month and pleaded guilty to concealing part of the amount he earned while he was with the LaLiga giants.

Sanchez will not serve any time in jail because, under Spanish law, first time offenders given sentences of less than 24 months avoid prison.

Sanchez's former Barca team-mate Messi was given a 21-month prison sentence in 2016, but exchanged it for a £223,000 fine a year ago.

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Alexis joined Barcelona from Udinese in 2011 and spent three years with the Catalan side, winning a Liga title as well as the Club World Cup under the guidance of Pep Guardiola.

Messi initially received a 21-month prison sentence in 2016, which was then changed to a €252,000 (£223,000) fine in 2017.

The agency's article says the Chile forward will pay back that figure plus interest, along with a fine of 590,065 euros (£523,029) and will not receive public aid or tax incentives in Spain for two years.

The Red Devils are now 13 points behind leaders City after 26 matches and return to action on Sunday when they visit Newcastle United.

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