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Marcelo accused of Sh 60.8m tax fraud

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Real Madrid’s Brazilian defender Marcelo earned 1,168,764 euros from his image rights in 2013, which were ceded to a Uruguayan company but should have been declared to the Spanish authorities © AFP/File / GABRIEL BOUYS

MADRID, Spain, Oct 17 – Spanish prosecutors have accused Real Madrid’s Brazilian left-back Marcelo of tax fraud totalling nearly Sh 60.8m (500 euros), a judicial source confirmed on Tuesday.

The tax authorities believe Marcelo hid Sh 60.8m ($578,000) earned from his image rights using a network of shell companies outside of Spain.

According to court documents, Marcelo earned Sh142m (1,168,764 euros) from his image rights in 2013, which were ceded to a Uruguayan company but should have been declared to the Spanish authorities.

Marcelo is just the latest in a series of star players based in Spain to be accused of tax fraud on income related to image rights in the past few years.

Real Madrid’s all-time leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in court in July over accusations he evaded Sh 1.7b (14.7 million euros) worth of tax between 2011 and 2014.

Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano received 21-month and one-year suspended sentences respectively after being found guilty of tax fraud over their image rights in 2016.

However, five-time World Player of the Year Messi’s sentence was later replaced by a Sh30.6m (252,000 euro) fine.

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