Luka Modric: admits tax fraud in Spain
Real Madrid star Luka Modric, the latest to be caught by the Spanish taxman, has admitted two counts of tax fraud and accepted an eight-month suspended prison sentence as part of a plea bargain deal with prosecutors.
Cristiano Ronaldo, formerly of Madrid, Lionel Messi of Barcelona, former Madrid Coach Jose Mourinho and Brazilian midfielder Marcelo, have all admitted various tax offences.
According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Modric would be given the chance to substitute the prison term for a fine totalling (£54,000) €60,000.
The 33-year-old Modric, recently voted the 2018 World Cup’s best player, was accused last November of tax fraud of up to €870,728 (£783.64) in image rights in 2013 and 2014 using a limited company based in Luxembourg.
The company, Ivano, S.A.R.L, was named after his son Ivano and managed by his wife Vanja Bosnia.
Spanish tax authorities sought information from authorities in the Isle of Man as part of their probe into Modric amid warnings it could accuse him of defrauding a higher amount.
But prosecutors decided after inquiries there was no basis to increase the penalty they were seeking.
El Mundo reported the footballer would have to pay a total of £1.26 million (€1.4 million) if he wanted to wipe his slate clean with the Spanish taxman for the years 2013 and 2014.
The payment would cover the amount defrauded, a fine of £313,450 (€48,291) representing 40 per cent of the fraud, and the fine substituting the prison term.
According to reports, he had paid £900,000 of the amount owed at the start of the criminal proceedings.
Recent reports in Spain have claimed he has also been fined £1.08 million (€1.2 million) for irregularities in his 2012 tax return which he is contesting but is being dealt with administratively rather than by way of criminal proceedings.
Modric, who signed for Real Madrid in August 2012, remains under the spotlight in his homeland over allegations he provided false information in the trial of former Dinamo Zagreb director Zdravko Mamic.
He was charged in March and is awaiting a trial date. Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren was charged with the same offence of perjury earlier this week as he was accused of giving false statements during Mamic’s trial.
Mamic, once the most powerful figure in Croatian football, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison in June after being found guilty of siphoning off millions of pounds in transfer fees.