Bayern boss jailed for evading tax

A German court convicted Uli Hoeness of tax evasion on Thursday and sentenced the football boss who turned Bayern Munich into one of the world's most successful clubs to 3-1/2 years in jail.

Judge Rupert Heindl ruled Hoeness's voluntary disclosure – that he had failed to pay taxes – was incomplete and thus did not meet a vital requirement needed for amnesty under German tax laws designed to encourage tax evaders to come clean.

Hoeness has admitted evading 27.2 million euros in taxes on income earned in secret Swiss bank accounts but the Bayern Munich commercial manager was hoping for leniency in one of the most closely watched tax evasion cases in German history.

"The voluntary disclosure is not valid with the documents that were presented alone," said the judge.

Hoeness, 62, bowed his head and stared at the floor when the verdict was delivered, his face turning red.

The case hinged on the question whether Hoeness fully cooperated with his voluntary disclosure. It shocked the nation and prompted thousands of tax dodgers to turn themselves in.

Prosecutors originally charged Hoeness with evading 3.5 million euros in taxes. But on the first day of the trial Hoeness stunned the court by admitting he had actually evaded five times that amount – or 18.5 million euros.

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