Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria has been given a one-year prison sentence and fined 2 million euros (£1.76million) after pleading guilty to two counts of tax fraud at Real Madrid in Spain.
However, the former Manchester United forward is unlikely to spend any time behind bars though – most sentences under two years in Spain are suspended for first-time offenders.
It is understood that Di Maria agreed to a deal with Spain’s state prosecutor on Wednesday in which the former Real Madrid forward admitted to two counts of tax fraud of almost 1.3 million euros ($1.4 million) in exchange for a lighter sentence.
In a document reviewed by The Associated Press, Di Maria’s lawyer accepted the two counts, which relate to fraud committed in 2012 and 2013. The prosecutor recommended a sentence of 16 months and a fine of nearly 800,000 euros ($890,000).
Di Maria, who currently plays for French club Paris Saint-Germain, will likely not serve any prison time because sentences of less than two years for first-time offenders are usually suspended in Spain.
His former Real team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to testify in his tax case on July 31, while Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho also has allegations of fraud against him.
Ronaldo faces no formal charge at this stage and is appearing in court as an ‘investigated person’ and could be fined as much as £37m if he is found guilty.
Also, last month, former Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao and Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao were accused by the prosecutor’s office of not paying all their taxes.
Di Maria’s deal is similar to the one struck by Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano, who was convicted of tax fraud last year and given a suspended one-year sentence.