Diego Costa handed 6-month prison sentence and fined by Spanish authorities in tax fraud case

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Former Chelsea striker, Diego Costa made an appearance at a Madrid court on Thursday to ratify a deal he made with Spanish prosecutors to resolve a tax fraud case against him.

According to AS, Costa was handed a six-month prison sentence, which he will not serve, and a total fine of €543,000 (£482,000) after the Atletico Madrid striker defrauded the Spanish state of more than €1m (£900,000) in 2014.

In a court filing published last month, the 31-year-old did not declare payments of just over €5m (£4.4m) from his 2014 transfer from Atletico to Chelsea in his tax return, as well as more than €1m (£900,000) in image rights.

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Due to the fact that Spanish law allows penal sentences below two years for non-violent crimes to be exchanged for a financial penalty, Costa agreed to pay an additional fine of €36,500 (£32,000) on top of the €507,000 (£450,000) to avoid prison time.

‘Diego Costa reached an agreement a few months ago with the prosecutor and has already paid the corresponding fine plus interest and the request for a prison sentence was withdrawn,’ an Atletico spokesman said on Wednesday.

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‘This week it is expected that agreement will be ratified in court, as is mandatory.’

Diego Costa joins the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and ex-Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, who all have been involved in tax fraud. None of them served prison time but did pay hefty fines.

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