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Italian prosecutors investigate tax evasion in player deals

26 January 2016, 21:40

Milan - Naples prosecutors have announced a sweeping investigation into allegations of falsifying player transactions to avoid as much as 12 million euros ($13 million) in taxes involving as many as 35 Serie A and Serie B teams.

Italian financial police were executing search warrants Tuesday against about 60 suspects working in professional soccer, including team managers, players and agents, and exercising seizures of cash, real estate and financial holdings equal to the amount of tax allegedly evaded.

Also read: Hit-and-miss Man City seek League comeback

Prosecutors allege that agents improperly billed the teams for transaction services rendered on behalf of players, allowing the teams to declare a deduction for the services while players received an undeclared fringe benefit by having the teams cover their agents' fee.

The news agency ANSA reported that agents were searching offices at AC Milan's headquarters.

Lawyers for Milan confirmed that club vice president Adriano Galliani was among those under investigation. In a statement posted on the team's website, the lawyers dismissed the allegations as unfounded and said they expected the case to be dismissed.

Juventus shares dropped almost 2 percent while Lazio's stock was temporarily suspended from trading. Roma shares rose.

- AP


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