Former Bayern Munich boss Uli Hoeness begins sentence

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Former Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness has
begun serving a three years and six months jail
sentence for tax evasion, his lawyers say.
They say that Hoeness is serving his sentence at
Landsberg am Lech prison in southern Germany.
He was found guilty of defrauding tax authorities of
£22.5m in March.
Hoeness said at the time that his tax evasion “was
the biggest mistake” of his life and that he
accepted “the consequences of his mistake”.
The former World Cup-winning Germany striker
ruled out appealing against his conviction and
resigned as president of his country’s largest club.
His lawyer at the trial argued he should escape
punishment because he gave himself up. But
judges ruled that his confession fell short of full
disclosure.
Hoeness was initially charged with evading 3.5m
euros (£2.9m; $4.9m) in taxes but he then
admitted to dodging another 15m euros.
It eventually emerged that he owed a total of
27.2m euros.
A court in the southern city of Munich found
Hoeness guilty of “seven serious counts of tax
evasion”.
Bayern Munich fans gathered outside the court
building for much of his trial, holding up banners
expressing support for him.
The BBC’s Stephen Evans in Berlin says that at the
time of his sentencing it was significant because it
indicated that attitudes towards tax evasion had
changed in Germany since the financial crisis.
A string of famous people, perhaps not normally
associated with cheating on tax, have recently
been revealed to have had secret bank accounts,
our correspondent reported.
Hoeness, a football legend, helped Germany win
the 1972 European Championship and the World
Cup two years later.
He came clean about his secret bank account last
year, filing an amended tax return in the hope of
an amnesty in return for paying the tax he owed.
But prosecutors said he did so because
investigators were already pursuing his case.
Hoeness will begin his sentence in Landsberg am
Lech prison
Chancellor Angel Merkel was on good terms with
the ex-footballer before the scandal emerged
Despite the tax evasion scandal, Hoeness remains
a very popular figure at the club he helped build
up.
He first offered his resignation at last year’s annual
meeting but was initially backed by the supporters
and the club’s board.

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