June 28 – Football agent Jorge Mendes has denied that he helped Colombia and Monaco striker Radamel Falcao to evade tax in Spain. Mendes appeared 45 minutes before a judge in a closed doors court hearing in Madrid as part of a probe into whether Falcao could be prosecuted over tax evasion.
The Portuguese agent said that he never advised his clients on tax matters and denied that he helped football players by creating shell companies. He maintained his innocence.
Mendes’ agency Gestifute released a statement saying that “neither he nor his employees have ever intervened in the creation of corporate structures for his clients and much less provided any tax advice to them.”
The former Chelsea and Manchester United striker is accused of failing to declare €5.3 million (£4.69 million) of income earned from image rights between 2012 and 2013 when he played at Atletico Madrid.
Falcao may have defrauded the Spanish State through a network of shell companies in the British Virgin Islands, Republic of Ireland, Colombia and Panama to avoid taxes on image rights income.
The striker is the latest football player facing scrutiny as Spanish authorities step up their battle against players evading tax. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is also a client of Mendes, is also under investigation.
Judge Monica Gomez Ferrer, who is hearing the evidence relating to Falcao, is also overseeing the case of the Real Madrid star and Ronaldo is scheduled to appear in court at the end of July over allegations he illegally evaded €14.7 million euros (£13 million) in taxes.
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