Former Real Madrid and Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho has accepted a deal with the Madrid prosecutor's office whereby he will avoid going to prison for tax fraud in exchange for paying a large fine of more than two million euros ($2.3 million), court sources told EFE on Tuesday.
Mourinho was charged with two tax fraud crimes which state he defrauded the Spanish tax office of 3.3 million euros in tax revenue from image rights when he was serving as Real Madrid's coach.
Mourinho signed in 2010 an employment contract with Real Madrid and moved his residence to the Spanish capital.
According to the deal, the 56-year-old committed crimes against the Spanish Public Treasury when he did not declare revenues from his image rights in 2011 for an amount of 1.6 million euros and in 2012 for 1.7 million euros.
Spain's judiciary seldom enforces prison sentences of less than two years for first-time offenders.
In this case, the former coach will pay a fine of 182,500 euros in exchange for going to prison and will also hand over some two million euros as a fine for unpaid tax.
Mourinho was fired on Dec. 18 as manager of the English Premier League club Manchester United at a time when it was sixth-place in the league standings, 19 points behind leader Liverpool.
Mourinho's case is the latest in a recent rash of other high profile legal actions against stars of the soccer world.
Former Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was sentenced on Jan. 22 to a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay an 18.8 million euro fine to Spanish authorities for tax evasion.
Prosecutors had estimated that Ronaldo defrauded some 14.7 million euros, although they reduced the figure to 5.7 million euros after the Portuguese star took the plea deal, admitting to having committed four tax crimes between 2011-14.
Between interests and fines, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will have to hand over almost 19 million euros to the public purse.
Meanwhile, ex-Spain international Xabi Alonso also appeared at the Madrid court, where prosecutors asked for a sentence of five years' imprisonment and a 4-million-euro fine on three counts of tax evasion allegedly committed between 2010-12.
Unlike Ronaldo, the Basque player has maintained his innocence.
Ronaldo and Alonso join other soccer players such as Luka Modric, Marcelo, Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria and Javier Mascherano in accepting a plea deal with Spanish authorities for crimes against the public treasury.