Ex-Barca Star Accepts 14-Month Prison Sentence For Fraud
Former Barcelona defender Adriano has accepted a 14-month prison sentence for defrauding the Spanish Tax Office.
The Brazilian full-back, who currently plays for Turkish side Besiktas, will pay a fine of a reported 1 million EUR (886,180 GBP) and be handed a 14-month prison sentence.
The 34-year-old was accused of defrauding the Spanish Tax Office of 646,085 EUR (572,547 GBP) of his image-rights earning in 2011 and 2012, when he was at Barcelona and has reached an agreement with prosecutors which will be brought before Barcelona High Court today.
Adriano will not spend any time behind bars as in Spain sentences of two years and under can be served on probation if the guilty party has no previous convictions.
Prosecutors had initially asked for three years in prison for the former Sevilla defender who they said had hidden his income from a contract with Nike worth 63,304 EUR (56,098 GBP) in 2011 and “simulating” the cession of his image rights to a “purely instrumental” company based in Madeira, Portugal.
He is said to have used this fraudulent “sale” of his image rights to the company in Madeira to avoid paying tax on his earnings in Spain, as Madeira is a tax haven.
According to prosecutors, he did not include his image rights earnings in 2011 or 2012 in his tax returns which saw him pay 178,310 EUR (158,014 GBP) and 149,047 (132,082 GBP) to the Spanish Treasury respectively.
In November 2014, Adriano submitted a supplementary tax return for 2012, increasing his income by 924,750 EUR (819,494 GBP), which included the money earned from with his image rights, and another 90,328 EUR (80,046 GBP) in income from capital gains, which prosecutors believe could correspond to his earnings from the contract with Nike.
He returned a further 65,176 EUR (57,757 GBP) to the treasury in 2016 and his returning of the money has allowed him to negotiate the prison sentence from three years to 14 months, which will be suspended.
The Brazilian made 189 appearances for Barcelona between 2010 and 216, scoring 17 goals and winning four La Liga titles along with two Champions League crowns.