Jose Mourinho, the ex-Manchester United manager, recently pleaded guilty to tax fraud in Spain, and accepted a 2 million Euro fine. He was also sentenced to 12 months in jail, but as part of a deal made with the prosecutors will not actually serve any time.
He had used offshore companies to disguise his earnings from image rights evading 3.3 million Euros in tax.
Mourinho is not the only footballing celebrity to have face tax evasion charges:
In January, Cristiano Ronaldo was fined 18.8 million Euros in a similar case, again paying to keep himself out of jail.
Lionel Messi was fined just under 2 million Euros back in 2016, for tax evasion dating back to 2007-9.
Relevance to A-level sociology
This is a straight forward example which supports the Marxist view of crime… Marxists state that all classes commit crime (here the ‘celebrity class’, and they also state that there is not equality before the law… and here all three effectively buy themselves off a jail sentence.
Although TBH I’m not sure how courts in other countries would deal with poorer tax evaders, maybe this type of crime is always dealt with so softly.
What these case studies certainly do suggest is that the law in Europe offers no real deterrent to evading tax – Mourinho only had to pay back 60% of the amount he evaded, for example. It seems that if yer rich, the criminal justice system makes it rational for you to have a go at evading tax… you’ve literally nothing to lose if you get caught.
Maybe what the law around tax evasion needs a proper does of right realism… mandatory jail sentences? Or maybe the right realist tough on crime approach is only supposed to apply to the poor?