Diego Costa appears in court to settle tax fraud case

Diego Costa appears in court to settle tax fraud case

Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa appeared in court wearing a white mask in the Spanish capital on Thursday 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 Sh60 million to punish Costa for defrauding the Spanish state of Sh120.5 million in 2014.

According to a court filing published last month, Costa, 31, did not declare payments of Sh612 million from his 2014 transfer from Atletico to Chelsea in his tax return, as well as more than Sh119 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 Sh4.3 million on top of the Sh60.3 million 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with the prosecutor and has already paid the corresponding fine plus interest and the request for a prison sentence was withdrawn,” an Atletico spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.

“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 Sh6.5 billion after helping fire the London side to two Premier League titles.

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