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Real Madrid’s Coentrao questioned in tax fraud probe

Prosecutors allege that Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao used companies in Ireland and Panama to avoid taxes on the income earned from his image rights between 2012 and 2014 © AFP/File / Christof STACHE

MADRID, Spain, Jul 3Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Fabio Coentrao, accused of evading nearly 1.3 million euros in income from the tax man, was questioned in court on Monday, a judicial source said.

He appeared in court in Pozuelo de Alarcon, a wealthy suburb of the Spanish capital where many footballers live, said a spokesman for the high court of the Madrid region — which oversees all other courts in the area.

The spokesman refused to give any other details.

But according to two other judicial sources, who refused to be named, the 29-year-old paid out 1.7 million euros ($1.9 million) to tax authorities before going to court — the sum owed plus interest.

Prosecutors allege that he used companies in Ireland and Panama to avoid taxes on the income earned from his image rights between 2012 and 2014.

Coentrao is just one of several football stars accused of tax evasion.

His Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo is due to be questioned by a Spanish judge on July 31 after allegedly evading 14.7 million euros in taxes.

Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes, meanwhile, appeared in court last week where he denied helping create shell companies for his clients to assist them in evading taxes.

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