Xabi Alonso facing possible five-year jail sentence after being accused of tax fraud
Former Spanish international Xabi Alonso is facing potential jail time after being accused of tax fraud.
Spain’s prosecutor has announced it is seeking a five-year jail sentence and a fine of €4m for the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder.
A statement released on Wednesday said that the 36-year-old, who retired from football at the end of last season, is alleged to have defrauded the Spanish state of €2m between 2010 and 2012.
They have also called for the same sentence to be applied to Alonso’s financial advisor Ivan Zaldua Azcuenaga and the administrator of consultancy shell company, Ignasi Maestre Casanova.
The case was originally dismissed, but was reopened earlier this year. Alonso has denied any wrongdoing.
The statement said: “The Economic Crimes section of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Madrid is seeking five years in prison for former soccer player Xabier Alonso Olano for the commission of three crimes against the Public Treasury during fiscal years 2010, 2011 and 2012.
“The representative of the Public Ministry claims the same penalty for the tax advisor Ivan Zaldua Azcuenaga and for the administrator of the company Kardazli Comercio Servicos de Consultoria e Investimentos LDA. Ignasi Maestre Casanova.
“Each of them, in addition, requires payment of a fine of 4 million euros and in concept of civil liability asks them to pay jointly 2,032,845 euros to the Tax Agency, that is, the amount total of the economic damage caused to the Tax Administration, plus the interest generated.”
The charge is related to Alonso’s image rights, where prosecutors claim the three men set up a contract with Maestre’s business in Madeira “with the intention that he (Alonso) obtained an illicit tax benefit”.
Alonso is not the first high-profile sportsman to be a target for the Spanish authorities in recent years with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho all also the subject of investigations over the last 12 months.
Barcelona star Messi had his 21-month prison sentence reduced to a fine in July.