Bayern Munich president found guilty of tax evasion

Uli Hoeness is sentenced to three and a half years, but he will appeal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 March, 2014, 2:02am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 March, 2014, 11:10pm

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness was found guilty yesterday and sentenced to 3 and a half years in prison for evading millions of euros in tax through an undeclared Swiss bank account.

The 62-year-old, one of the most powerful figures in German soccer, was initially charged with dodging €3.5 million (HK$37.6 million) in taxes through the Swiss account.

But when his trial opened on Monday he admitted to avoiding €15 million more.

Then it was revealed through an examination of documents he provided to investigators shortly before the trial that he owed €27.2 million in total - a number Hoeness did not dispute.

Hoeness had faced up to 10 years in prison, and the sentence came between the 51/2 years suggested by the prosecution and the defence'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, defence lawyer 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.