Sanchez given 16-month suspended prison sentence for tax fraud


Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez has struck a deal with Spanish authorities to accept a 16-month suspended jail sentence for tax fraud in return for avoiding a trial.

The Chile global, who arrived at the Red Devils from Arsenal last month, was accused of using an off-shore account in Malta to defraud the Spanish Treasury of £890k (R14,9m) in 2013, during his stint with Barcelona.

But he will not be locked up as first-time offenders in Spain rarely serve jail time.

Other players investigated in Spain include Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Marcelo, Ricardo Carvalho, Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano, Radamel Falcao and Fabio Coentrao.

Sanchez has, however, reached an agreement with the prosecutor to pay the money he owes with interest.

Those are charges, he alleges, which are founded upon a reinterpretation of the law and are forced through via underhand means.

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Felicevich insisted the "alleged crimes" were practices used over a long period of time by many players and previously accepted by the Spanish taxman.

Sanchez's previous Barca partner Lionel Messi got a 21-month jail sentence, decreased to a €252,000 (£223,000) fine, to defraud the Spanish duty experts of €3.1m (£2.76m).

"Prosecutors and the tax office have put more than 30 players in the same situation, accusing them of the same crimes and threatening them with effective prison sentences", Felicevich said.

"Almost every member of the Real Madrid and Barcelona squad have been placed in this situation, even though these clubs use a standard pay formula for their first team which has been accepted by the Spanish Treasury in the past".

"Given the terrible experiences suffered by Messi, Ronaldo, etc have had to suffer, we concluded that it was better to accept an unjust agreement but be able to turn the page and not to be subjected to political and media pressure".