Diego Costa appears in court to settle tax fraud case

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa reacts during the La Liga match with Athletic Bilbao at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid October 26, 2019. — Reuters pic
Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa reacts during the La Liga match with Athletic Bilbao at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid October 26, 2019. — Reuters pic

MADRID, June 4 — Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa appeared in court wearing a white mask in the Spanish capital today to ratify a pact he made with prosecutors to resolve a tax fraud case against him.

Prosecutors were asking for a six-month jail sentence and a fine of €507,208 (RM2.4 million) to punish Costa for defrauding the Spanish state of €1,014,416 in 2014.

According to a court filing published last month, Costa, 31, did not declare payments of €5,150,622 from his 2014 transfer from Atletico to Chelsea in his tax return, as well as more than €1 million in image rights.

In accordance with Spanish law which allows penal sentences below two years for non-violent crimes to be exchanged for a financial penalty, Costa has agreed to pay an additional fine of €36,500 on top of the €507,208 to avoid jail 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with the prosecutor and has already paid the corresponding fine plus interest and the request for a prison sentence was withdrawn,” an Atletico spokesman told Reuters yesterday.

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

Spain international Costa, who was wearing a mask due to the Covid-19 pandemic, returned to Atletico from Chelsea in 2017 for a reported €55 million after helping fire the London side to two Premier League titles. — Reuters

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