Mascherano ‘fights’ to avoid jail

MascheranoJavier Mascherano has been sentenced to a year in prison and fined £625,000 for two tax offences.

However, the Barcelona star is not likely to be spending a year behind bars, after his lawyer David Aineto requested the prison sentence to be substituted for the fine, which he is yet to pay.

Mascherano’s lawyer is also attempting to have the offences removed from his criminal record by paying an additional fine.

In Spain, people handed sentences of less than two years are not normally required to serve their sentence, unless they are being punished for violent crime, if they agree to a fine.

Mascherano, 31, was given four-month and eight-month sentences for the two offences which took place in 2011 and 2012.

The Argentine star had already repaid the full £1.15million debt owed to the tax authorities before he was given his punishment.

Mascherano also paid the interest on the money, but has still been hit with a new fine.

His tax offences were for failing to declare earnings from image rights he ceded to companies which he owns in Portugal and the United States.

Mascherano published an open letter after the verdict in which he insisted he was an ‘honest and responsible person’.

He wrote: ‘After agreeing my arrival at Barcelona I engaged the services of a prestigious Spanish tax firm of the highest professional standing and excellent reputation.

‘Having in consideration my situation, they recommended to me certain financial structures, all of which they informed me, were common practise, totally transparent and accepted by the law.

‘I was assessed by these professionals from 2010 until 2014 when I decided to change my advisors in view of the proceedings that had been initiated against me along with evidence that my problem was no longer just a possibility but had become a reality. –Dailymail


‘My new advisors recommended that I should pay all the taxes being reclaimed by the Inland Revenue presenting what is referred to as ‘corrections’ over all the relevant fiscal years.

‘I am a professional sportsman and I do not have great knowledge of neither legal nor tax-related matters. For that reason I need to rely on the support of those people trained to deal with such matters that, for me, are complicated.

‘Throughout my career I have been honest and responsible, respecting my team mates at the clubs and all those countries where I have lived.

‘This situation I have found myself in I will treat as one more experience in my life from which, hopefully, I can emerge stronger, at peace and content in the knowledge that I am once again in compliance with the law.

‘I reserve the right to take possible action against those advisors who mismanaged my affairs and recommended things to me that were not correct.’




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