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Diego Costa tax fraud case stemming from Chelsea transfer set to be ratified

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Plea deal

Chelsea v Middlesbrough - Premier League Photo by Craig Mercer CameraSport via Getty Images

Defrauding the Spanish government seems to be a rite of passage for most big names in Spanish football, and former Chelsea striker Diego Costa is no exception.

In fact, it is his transfer to Chelsea in 2014 that got him in hot legal waters last year, as he was accused of failing to declare over €5m in personal income from the move (on which he owed over €1m in taxes). There was also an additional charge for failing to declare another €1m in image rights.

Oopsies!

(Chelsea did some creative accounting at the time regarding Costa’s buy-out, which probably didn’t help the situation.)

While Costa could technically face jail time as well, the Spanish legal system allows non-violent criminals to buy out their sentences of two years or less for pennies on the dollar.

In fact, this week’s court appearance (on Thursday), is supposed to be just the formal ratification of the plea deal agreed last August. Costa will repay a little over €1m in unpaid taxes, pay a fine over €500k as punishment, and buy-out his prison sentence for a mere €36,500.

Hopefully he didn’t blow all that money on jetskis and nerf guns!