June 21, 2017 / 2:13 PM / a month ago

Soccer player Di Maria strikes deal with Spanish prosecutor in tax case

2 Min Read

Football Soccer - SCO Angers v Paris St Germain - French Ligue 1 - Raymond Kopa Stadium, Angers, France - 14/04/2017 Paris St Germain's Angel Di Maria celebrates after scoring.Stephane Mahe

MADRID (Reuters) - Former Real Madrid player Angel Di Maria has reached an agreement with Spanish prosecutors over a tax evasion charge related to his image rights, a Madrid-based court said on Wednesday.

Di Maria, who now plays for France's Paris St Germain, will plead guilty to two charges of tax fraud, carrying an eight-month prison sentence for each, and pay a 2 million euros ($2.23 million) settlement, the court said.

Under Spanish law, a first-time offender is not required to serve time in jail for a sentence below two years.

The Argentine midfielder is accused of failing to pay some 1.3 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities in 2012-2013 by giving up his image rights to companies based in tax havens, such as Panama.

It was not immediately possible to reach Di Maria's representatives for a comment.

The deal comes amid a lengthening list of cases of tax evasion by high-profile players such as Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, whose charges date back to when he coached Real Madrid.

Mourinho's agents said he had already dealt with questions raised by tax authorities in 2015, settling issues with his 2011 and 2012 filings and reaching a settlement regarding 2013.

Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing.

($1 = 0.8981 euros)

Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Julien Toyer and Pritha Sarkar

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