Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez used Malta company for tax evasion

Alexis Sanchez faces Barcelona tax fraud probe according to Spanish newspaper report

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has been accused by the Barcelona public prosecutor of evading more than €900,000 in tax, according to a report in Spain.

The Chilean footballer is the 99% shareholder in the Maltese company Numidia Trading, the other 1% held by the Amicorp financial services firm, based in Ta’ Xbiex.

Sanchez, who played for Barcelona for three years from 2011, is alleged to have defrauded the Spanish Treasury by an amount totalling €983,443 in 2012 and 2013.

According to El Peridodico de Catalunya, a criminal complaint has been raised against the 27-year-old by prosecutor Miguel Angel Perez de Gregorio over a failure to pay tax on image rights.

In 2013, company records shows Sanchez booked a total of €1.1 million in profits in his Malta tax-registered firm. It is claimed he simulated the transfer of those image rights to Numidia Trading, and failed to declare his earnings in full.

According to the report, the prosecutor’s official complaint accuses Sanchez of “simulating” the transfer of his image rights to a company described as a “purely instrumental entity” used to facilitate “fraud committed against the Spanish Treasury”.

It is also alleged that Sanchez signed a contract with Barcelona in July 2011 in which he declared that he was the owner of his image rights, when in fact he had apparently transferred those rights to a company called Inversiones Alsan in Chile in 2008 – of which he owns 99 per cent – before they were moved to Numidia three years later.

Sanchez is not the first player to be involved in tax fraud allegations while playing for Barcelona. Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge, were found guilty of defrauding Spanish tax authorities of €4.1 million, earning him a 21-month suspended sentence after paying €1.7m in fines and a voluntary repayment of €5.1m in August 2013.

Javier Mascherano was given a suspended prison sentence of one year after admitting to two counts of tax fraud. He repaid his debt in full and paid a fine before his punishment.