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Hoeness found guilty in tax evasion trial

ESPN staff
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Uli Hoeness avoided paying €27.2 million (£22.7m) in taxes © Getty Images
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Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness was found guilty of tax evasion by a German court on Thursday and sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Hoeness, 62, was originally charged with not paying €3.5 million euros (£2.9 million) in taxes, but when his trial opened on Monday he admitted avoiding an additional €15m (£12.5m).

It subsequently emerged through an examination of documents Hoeness provided to investigators shortly before the trial that he owed €27.2m in total - a figure he did not dispute.

In closing arguments on Thursday, prosecutor Achim von Engel recommended a five-and-a-half-year jail sentence, saying his confession had fallen short of full disclosure.

As a player, Hoeness was part of the West Germany side which won the 1972 European Championship and the World Cup two years later, and was also a member of the Bayern squad which won three consecutive European Cups between 1974 and 1976.

On Tuesday, he had been at Bayern's Allianz Arena to watch the European champions' subdued performance in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, although that result was enough to see them progress through to the quarter-finals 3-1 on aggregate.

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