Hoeness trial: Bayern Munich boss jailed

The former World Cup-winning Germany striker, 62, had kept the funds in a secret Swiss bank account.

His lawyer had argued he should escape punishment because he gave himself up. But judges ruled his confession fell short of full disclosure.

Hoeness was initially charged with evading 3.5m euros (£2.9m; $4.9m) in taxes but he then admitted to dodging another 15m euros. It finally emerged in court that he owed a total of 27.2m euros.

‘Not valid’

On Thursday, the court in the southern city of Munich found Hoeness guilty of “seven serious counts of tax evasion”.

“The voluntary disclosure is not valid with the documents that were presented alone,” the judge said.

The defence said it would appeal against the sentence. Meanwhile Hoeness will remain free until a final verdict has been handed out. Prosecutors had called for a term of five years and six months.

Bayern Munich fans were gathered outside the court building, holding up banners expressing support for the football boss.

The BBC’s Stephen Evans, in Berlin, says the sentence is very significant because it indicates that attitudes towards tax evasion have changed in Germany since the financial crisis.

A string of famous people, perhaps not normally associated with cheating on tax, have recently been revealed to have had secret bank accounts, our correspondent reports.

But Hoeness could be the first to go to prison, he adds.

The football legend, who helped Germany win the 1972 European Championship and then the World Cup two years later, came clean about his secret bank account last year, filing an amended tax return in the hope of an amnesty in return for paying the tax he owed.

But prosecutors said he did so because investigators were already pursuing his case.

Earlier this week, he told the court he deeply regretted his “wrongdoing”.

“I will do everything necessary to ensure that this depressing chapter for me is closed,” he said.

The case has been described as one of the most spectacular of the year by the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Despite the tax evasion scandal, Mr Hoeness remains a very popular figure at the club he helped build up.

He offered his resignation at last year’s annual meeting but was backed by the supporters and the club’s board.

Leave a Reply

Reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to change your password.

Get started with your account

to save your favourite homes and more

Sign up with email

Get started with your account

to save your favourite homes and more

By clicking the «SIGN UP» button you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Powered by Estatik
error: Content is protected !!