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Hoeness admits tax fraud

10 March 2014 17:30

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has admitted to evading €18.5million in taxes, over five times the amount he was originally charged for.

The 62-year-old former Germany international attended the first day of his high-profile trial in Munich on Monday, charged with defrauding the authorities of €3.5m, and surprised the court by admitting the actual figure was much higher.

Hoeness is hopeful his belated honesty will save him from a criminal conviction.

"I am glad that everything is now transparent and on the table," he told the court.

"I deeply regret my misbehaviour. I will do everything to ensure that this distressing chapter closes.

"I have evaded taxes. I am aware that turning myself in to the authorities does not change that.

"I was hoping to escape criminal charges with a voluntary disclosure."

The trial has attracted widespread media attention - the court said that the 49 allocated press spots were filled within 27 seconds - and Hoeness had offered to resign from his post last May, only for his proposal to be rejected by the Bayern board.

If found guilty, Hoeness faces a possible jail term, with a verdict expected to be announced on Thursday.

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