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Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness jailed 3.5 years for tax evasion

Mar 13, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

Germany Soccer Hoeness Trial AP

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has been sentenced to three years and six months in jail by a German court after admitting to tax evasion.

After initially being charged with evading $4.9 million in taxes, Hoeness later admitted to avoiding an additional $20.9 million before the court ultimately determined the 62-year-old owed a grand total of $39,940,000.

Hoeness’ defense was that he should not be punished because he came clean on his evasions. The court disagreed, finding that the former World Cup winning striker’s admissions failed to constitute a full disclosure.

“The voluntary disclosure is not valid with the documents that were presented alone,” the judge said Thursday after finding Hoeness guilty of seven counts of tax evasion and issuing him a three and a half year jail sentence.

Hoeness, who is expected to appeal the sentence, issued a statement of regret earlier this week: “I will do everything necessary to ensure that this depressing chapter for me is closed.”

Hoeness offered his resignation at Bayern during last year’s annual meeting but the popular figure received backing from both supporters and the board to press on as club president.

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