Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeneß Sentenced To 3 1/2 Years In Jail For Tax Evasion
Bayern Munich President ULI HOENEß "has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail for tax evasion," according to Althoff, Grothmann & Völkerling of BILD. However, the sentence, which was announced on Thursday, "is not yet legally binding." Hoeneß's defense "has already announced that it will appeal the verdict." Hoeneß's defense lawyer HANNS W. FEIGEN said, "We certainly will fight the verdict through an appeal." The appeal has to be filed within a week and substantiated within a month. In that instance, the case "would be heard by the German Supreme Court." If the prosecution also files an appeal, it "will be announced on Friday" (BILD, 3/13). REUTERS' Jens Hack reported Judge RUPERT HEINDL ruled that Hoeneß's "voluntary disclosure that he had failed to pay taxes had been incomplete and thus did not meet a vital requirement needed for amnesty under laws designed to encourage tax evaders to come clean." Hoeneß has admitted evading €27.2M ($37.9M) in taxes on income earned in secret Swiss bank accounts, but the football club exec "was hoping for leniency in one of the most closely watched tax evasion cases in German history." The judge said, "The voluntary disclosure is not valid with the documents that were presented alone." The judge added that the confession "was riddled with mistakes" and that Hoeneß "had failed to submit other documents requested by tax inspectors on time." Hoeneß "bowed his head and stared at the floor when the verdict was delivered, his face turning red as he struggled to retain his composure." He "left the court in silence, avoiding reporters." The case hinged on the question of whether Hoeneß "cooperated fully with his voluntary disclosure." His case "shocked the nation and prompted thousands of tax dodgers to turn themselves in" (REUTERS, 3/13). In London, Josh Burrows reported Hoeneß's "trial captivated football-mad Germany and headlined the news all this week." The 62-year-old said, "I deeply regret my wrongdoing. I will do everything necessary to ensure that this depressing chapter for me is closed." He also noted that he "had donated millions to charities." Hoeneß: "I’m no social parasite" (LONDON TIMES, 3/13).