?Former Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Liverpool midfielder is potentially facing jail time and huge fine in Spain after a Madrid court reopened a case against him relating to alleged tax fraud and fiscal crimes between 2010 and 2012.
According to Spanish publication El Confidencial, Alonso and his tax advisors stand accused of defrauding the Spanish treasury out of €2.5m the Tax Agency believes should have been paid from image rights earnings during his time as a Real Madrid player.
As such, state prosecutors representing the tax office have requested an eight-year prison sentence and a fine of €8m, which includes the €2.5m the treasury claims is owed plus additional penalties.
El Confidencial explains that Alonso used a company registered on the Portuguese island of Madeira to handle money earned through image rights, enjoying favourable tax rates of 5% or less – it is said that the company was even tax exempt before 2012.
The company, named Kardzali and acquired by Alonso in 2009 just days before he joined Real Madrid from Liverpool, apparently received payments from Real themselves, Adidas, Movistar, consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble for a range of advertising campaigns, and others.
Alonso is said to have earned €4.9m in image rights during the three years in question, with the Spanish treasury claiming that around half of that should have been collected as tax in Spain.
Prosecutors want a three-year jail term for Alonso and each of his two tax advisors, Ivan Zaldua and Ignasi Maestre, for the years 2010 and 2012, with two years for 2011 when the alleged fraud was less. In total, that would make eight years behind bars for each man.
Having already seen the case shelved once before when it was ruled there was no crime, Alonso seems determined to fight it and is reportedly not planning to cut a deal to minimise any penalty or sentence like Javier Mascherano, Alexis Sanchez, Angel Di Maria, Luka Modric and others who have been accused of Spanish tax fraud in recent times.
Lionel Messi fought his guilty verdict, which was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court, leaving the Barcelona superstar with a 21-month suspended prison sentence – prison sentences under two years in Spain for non-violent crimes will not result in actual jail time. Alonso’s former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, is similarly fighting his case after also being accused of tax fraud.
Alonso’s legal team argues that the 36-year-old, who retired from football at the end of last season, has done nothing wrong because everything was declared and nothing was concealed. He took advantage of a ‘tax option’ to pay less by receiving image rights payment abroad.
Other players accused of tax fraud apparently used image right companies in Spain and so Alonso’s case differs in that respect.