Tax Evasion Case: Atletico Madrid Striker Gets Jail Sentence

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Diego Costa of Atletico de Madrid looks on during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool FC 

Atletico Madrid striker Diego da Silva Costa has been sentenced to six months in jail for tax offences but will pay a £32,000 fine to avoid serving the time.

The ex-Chelsea striker pleaded guilty to an offence which occurred in 2014 – the year he left Atletico for Chelsea

According to reports in Spain, the 31-year-old avoided paying £980,000 in tax – which he paid back last year – by not declaring payments of around £4.6million. The former Chelsea striker is also said to have concealed image rights payments of around £890k.

The Spanish Tax Agency said Costa defrauded them out of taxes and also charged him with a separate financial offence in the 2013 financial year.

Costa initially denied the claims but reconsidered his original stance and reached an agreement with Spanish authorities which was confirmed in court today.

According to Spanish outlet El Mundo Deportivo the Brazilian-born Spaniard asked Atletico to pay the fine for him but the club refused.

In Spain, sentences of less than two years in prison can be swapped for a fine of £32,610.

Costa will pay this on top of the £485,500 fine issued by the court for the crime.

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have fallen foul of Spanish tax law in the past.

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