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BARCELONA

Prosecutor calls for Eto'o to be handed 10-year prison sentence

El País report that the Cameroonian allegedly dodged income tax payments to the tune of 3.8 million euros during his time at Barcelona.

Prosecutor calls for Eto'o to be handed 10-year prison sentence

Samuel Eto’o is facing a 10-year term in prison called by Spain's Public Prosecutor for defrauding the Spanish taxman between 2006 and 2009 when the player was on the books at FC Barcelona, today's edition of El País reports.

Image rights illegally loaned

According to the tax agency, Eto'o and his agent, José María Mesalles, cooked up a method of avoiding paying income tax on earnings on his sponsorship deal with Puma by  loaning his image rights to two shell corporation companies - one Spanish (Bulte 2002), the other Hungarian (Tradesport). Spanish tax authorities argue that Eto'o was in fact the sole owner of his image rights and therefore, the income he received from a multimillion sponsorship deal with Puma was taxable at 45%. Investigators claim he should have declared 3.8 million in income tax.

Ongoing case

The case was opened in the summer of 2012 but has suffered numerous delays as Eto'o is in the process of suing Mesalles, who he accuses of managing his finances fraudulently and without his consent - accusations which the lawyer denies.