Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Prison

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2014

Uli Hoeness,  president of German soccer club Bayern Munich, waits  at the regional court in Munich, southern Germany Thursday March 13, 2014. Hoeness is accused in a tax evasion case that could land the German soccer legend in prison. Bavarian prosecutors filed charges against Hoeness after he reported himself to authorities for having a previously undeclared Swiss bank account. A verdict is expected today.  (AP Photo/Christof Stache,Pool)
Christof Stache/Associated Press

Update from Friday, March 14

Uli Hoeness will not appeal his three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for tax evasion, ESPN FC reported on Friday.

He will also step down from his position as Bayern Munich president:

An official statement on Bayern's website read:

After discussing the matter with my family I have decided to accept the judgment passed by Munich District Court (Landgericht) II regarding my tax affairs. I have instructed my legal representatives not to appeal the verdict. This corresponds to my understanding of integrity, decorum and personal responsibility. Evading tax was the biggest mistake of my life. I accept the consequences of this mistake.

Furthermore I hereby resign the offices of president of FC Bayern München e.V. and chairman of the FC Bayern München AG supervisory board with immediate effect. By doing so I wish to avert further damage to my club. FC Bayern München is my life’s work and will always remain so. I will continue to be associated with this magnificent club and its people in other ways for as long as I live.


Original Text 

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has been sentenced to three years and six months in prison for tax evasion, as reported by Eurosport:

The 1974 World Cup winner is said to have evaded €27.2 million in taxes and was lucky not to receive a five-year sentence, according to The Guardian's Philip Oltermann: "The 62-year old asked for leniency having voluntarily disclosed his actions to authorities."

Hoeness made well in excess of 200 appearances for Bayern across a nine-year spell with the club before heading to Nuremberg on loan. His crime is sure to dampen a fantastic legacy he has built at Bayern since retiring in 1979, an era that has seen the club rise to prominence with multiple domestic titles and European successes.

Sven Hoppe/Associated Press

Most recently, Bayern's greatest achievement with Hoeness as president arrived in the form of a quintet-winning 2013.

Hoeness had hoped to avoid a prison sentence after turning himself in last year, per The Associated Press (via The Guardian). 

Upon coming clean, German chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her disappointment toward the Bayern president, as quoted by Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, via BBC News: "Many people are now disappointed in Uli Hoeness, among them the Chancellor." 

Michael Dalder/Associated Press

Hoeness was aware that his late actions to try and save face didn't alter the severity of his wrongdoing, per The Guardian's report.

"I evaded taxes," said Hoeness. "I'm aware that reporting myself doesn't change this fact. I deeply regret my wrongdoing. I will do everything necessary to ensure that this depressing chapter for me is closed."

Hoeness placed his money in a Swiss bank account and is said to have used the hidden funds to trade stocks. He has allegedly completed "tens of thousands of transactions" between 2001 and 2010, per The Guardian.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Uli Hoeness President of Bayern Muenchen ahead of the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty
Martin Rose/Getty Images

He has one week to appeal the decision, as noted by AP journalist and Bundesliga specialist Ryland James:

Hoeness is not scheduled to leave prison until he is at least 65 years old, making his future participation as Bayern president extremely difficult.

The Bundesliga champions are expected to release a public reaction soon.


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