20th June, 2022
Former FC Barcelona striker, Samuel Eto’o Fils today bagged a prison term of 22 months, after accepting he defrauded the Spanish Public Treasury of 3,872,621 euros between 2006 and 2009.
His former agent José María Mesalles was also sentenced to one year imprisonment.
However, the jail terms will be suspended.
In his statement in the Criminal Court number 11 of Barcelona, Eto’o, now president of FECAFOOT, admitted the fraud.
But he blamed it on Mesalles, whom he has always defined as “a second father”.
In fact, the former Cameroonian footballer filed a lawsuit against his former representative for alleged crimes of fraud and misappropriation in the management of his assets, a matter that is still in the investigation phase.
“I recognize the facts and I am going to pay, but let it be known that I was a child then and that I always did what my father asked me to do,” said Samuel Eto’o, according to a report by Sport.es
Mesalles , for his part, has preferred not to testify before admitting the facts, in a conformity trial in which the third accused, Jesús Lastre , administrator of one of the instrumental companies used in the fraud, has been acquitted.
In its indictment, the prosecution requested sentences of 4 years and 6 months in prison for Eto’o and Mesalles.
This was reduced to 22 months for the former player and one year for his former agent as an accessory.
Likewise, the former African striker was fined 1,810,310 euros, and Mesalles 905,155 euros.
The Cameroon striker, now 41 years old, was playing for Barcelona when the offences occurred
The sentences, whose execution will be suspended since neither of them has a previous criminal record, have been mitigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office by recognizing both the facts and having partially repaired the damage with the return of part of the defrauded fees.
The fraud relates to Eto’o failing to declare income derived from the transfer of image rights to Puma and Barcelona in his personal income tax return between 2006 and 2009.