Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness was found guilty Thursday and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for evading millions of euros in tax through an undeclared Swiss bank account. The 62-year-old Hoeness, one of the most powerful figures in German soccer, was initially charged with dodging 3.5 million euros ($4.85 million) in taxes through the Swiss account. But when his trial opened Monday he admitted to avoiding 15 million euros more. Then it came out through an examination of documents he provided to investigators shortly before the trial that he owed 27.2 million euros in total - a number Hoeness did not dispute. Hoeness had faced up to 10 years in prison, and the sentence came between the five years suggested by the prosecution and the defense's plea for probation, based on the fact that he had turned himself in for tax evasion and provided details to the court, the dpa news agency reported. Following the verdict, defense attorney Hanns Feigen said he would appeal the decision to see how a higher court would value Hoeness' 'not ideal' confession. He added that he was convinced the appeals court would come to a 'better result' than the Munich state court did. Hoeness will remain free on bail pending the outcome of the appeal. German authorities have been cracking down on tax evaders in recent years, and have recovered hundreds of millions of euros. Their widely-publicized purchase of leaked account information on thousands of investors, as well as high-profile cases such as that against Hoeness and former Deutsche Post AG CEO Klaus Zumwinkel, has led to thousands of people turning themselves in. Hoeness, who also is part owner of a Nuremberg sausage factory, reported himself to the tax authorities last April - around the same time that German media were investigating reports of high-profile tax evaders.
Bayern president Hoeness JAILED for three-and-a-half years over tax evasion row
Daily Mail | Mar 13