Four-time African footballer of the year and one of Africa’s greatest players of all time, Samuel Etoo has pleaded guilty to tax fraud in Spain.
By his action, Etoo was given a fine and a suspended 22-month prison sentence but won’t be serving time, as is done for sentencing less than two years.
Eto’o pleaded guilty before a Barcelona court on Monday and will pay a fine of 1.8m Euros for the tax he evaded in the five years he spent as a Barcelona player.
The former Cameroon captain and current FECAFOOT President and his former representative Jose Maria Mesalles would pay Spanish authorities up to 3.9m Euros, the amount he owed in taxes. Mesalles was sentenced to 12 months and a fine.
Spanish authorities accused Etoo of holding back information on his image rights between 2006 and 2009.
He was accused by the Spanish internal revenue agency of moving his image rights to a tax haven – Hungary, known to have one of the lowest taxes in Europe.
Another company in Spain, according to the AFP declared Etoo’s tax as corporate, less than the income tax and a cornered attempt to pay less.
Many football stars have been at the ends of tax problems including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.