Mour­inho still un­der scrutiny for al­leged tax fraud

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER - SID LOWE in Madrid

I didn’t re­ply, I didn’t ar­gue, I paid, I signed the pa­pers

José Mour­inho re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for al­leged tax fraud de­spite declar­ing the case brought against him to be closed af­ter he said he had ac­cepted the ar­gu­ments put for­ward by Spain’s In­land Rev­enue and paid the fee de­manded to set­tle charges brought against him, which he has al­ways de­nied.

The Manch­ester United man­ager left the court in Pozuelo to the west of Madrid in­sist­ing that the only prob­lem he had with the brief ap­pear­ance was that he had been forced to resched­ule train­ing. “I didn’t re­ply, I didn’t ar­gue, I paid, I signed the pa­pers,” he told re­porters. He de­scribed the case as “defini­tively closed” but this was not con­firmed by the court.

A court spokesman told AFP that Mour­inho re­mained un­der of­fi­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion and added the Por­tuguese had an­swered ques­tions only from his lawyer and did not take ques­tions from pub­lic pros­e­cu­tors dur­ing his court ap­pear­ance.

Mour­inho had been ac­cused of ¤3.3m tax fraud re­lat­ing to im­age rights pay­ments he re­ceived when he was man­ager of Real Madrid in 2011 and 2012. The state pros­e­cu­tor had ac­cused him of us­ing off­shore com­pa­nies in Ire­land, the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands and New Zealand to con­ceal his earn­ings.

Jorge Men­des

Sim­i­lar cases have been brought against foot­ballers in Spain, among them a num­ber of clients of the agent Jorge Men­des, in­clud­ing Fábio Coen­trão, Pepe, Radamel Fal­cao, Án­gel Di María and, most no­tably, Cris­tiano Ron­aldo. Yet while Ron­aldo is de­ter­mined to fight the charges of a ¤14.7m fraud, Mour­inho opted to pay. He did not re­veal the amount.

In June Ges­ti­fute had is­sued a state­ment in­sist­ing that Mour­inho had ac­cepted the “reg­u­lar­i­sa­tion pro­pos­als made by the Span­ish tax au­thor­i­ties” re­lat­ing to 2011 and 2012 and that he had reached an agree­ment with them re­lat­ing to 2013.

But the case had not been closed and Mour­inho was called be­fore an in­ves­ti­gat­ing judge at 10am yes­ter­day, ar­riv­ing at the same court room where Ron­aldo had ap­peared in the sum­mer just af­ter 9.30. He de­parted again soon af­ter 10am, in­sist­ing that the mat­ter was now over.

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