BARCELONA, Spain, Nov 2 – Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez has been accused of tax fraud and could face jail time.
Spanish prosecutors said Sanchez failed to pay 983,443 euros in tax while he was playing for Barcelona after a “simulated” transfer of his image rights to an offshore company.
The Chilean allegedly transferred his image rights to a company named Numidia Trading and failed to declare his ownership, despite having a 99 percent stake.
Tax authorities say he owed 587,677 euros in 2012 and 395,766 euros in 2013, while he did not submit tax declarations on dividends received by Numidia.
Prosecutors said he signed a contract with Barcelona in 2011 that said he was the owner of his image rights.
However, he transferred his image rights to Chilean company Inversiones Alsan in 2008, before the Numidia deal was signed and before moving to Barcelona, prosecutors said.
He could face two separate tax fraud charges, prosecutors said.
Sanchez moved from Barcelona to Arsenal in 2014.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Adriano and Samuel Eto’o have also been the subject of tax probes. Messi and Mascherano both received jail sentences that are being served on probation, as their terms are less than two years.