World News

Saturday 2 August 2014

Bayern boss 'dodged more taxes'

Published 11/03/2014|15:27

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Bayern Munich player Uli Hoeness is on trial over tax evasion (AP)

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness may have evaded millions more in taxes than he has already admitted to in court, an expert witness has told a court.

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A tax fraud investigator told the Munich state court that she estimates Hoeness owes at least 23.7 million euro (£19.7 million) in taxes on top of 3.5 million euro (£2.9 million) that prosecutors included in their indictment against the 62-year-old president of Germany's leading football club.

This would make the total amount Hoeness is said to have avoided through an undeclared Swiss bank account to 27.2 million euro (£22.6 million) - well beyond the 18.5 million euro (£15.4 million) he confessed to yesterday when he told the court he wanted all facts "transparently on the table".

"The defence didn't challenge these figures," court spokeswoman Andrea Titz said of the new numbers that came out in today's hearing.

The investigator was heard as a witness because she has been tasked with examining 70,000 pages of documentation that Hoeness' defence team submitted to the court in the past two weeks.

"The question that arises is why the documents were submitted so late," Ms Titz said.

Hoeness faces punishment ranging from a fine to 10 years in prison if found guilty, and experts say the only way he can avoid jail time is if judges consider his confession a mitigating factor.

Hoeness, who was part of West Germany's 1974 World Cup-winning squad, first reported himself to authorities last year around the same time that German media were investigating reports of high-profile tax evaders.

Tomorrow the court will question another tax inspector about Hoeness' claim that he was able to make up for stock losses by using other money he had, Ms Titz said.

A verdict might be possible as initially scheduled for Thursday, she said.

Press Association

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