Spanish tax authorities have been stepping up their game in recent months, and now they have two high-profile cases to show for their hard work. This matters in the two-wheeled universe because one of the case involves former MotoGP racer Sete Gibernau.
According to prosecutors in Barcelona, Gibernau defrauded the Spanish government of roughly €2.8 million. Gibernau on the other-hand says that during the time in question, from 2005 to 2006, he did not live in Spain, but instead lived in Switzerland.
Spanish prosecutors however state that Gibernau did not live in Switzerland, like he says, but instead lived in Esplugues de Llobregat, a province in Catalunya.
Most of the €2.8 million that Gibernau is accused of defrauding the Spanish government comes from income tax evasion, with €1.8 million owed in 2005, and €550,000 owed in 2006 – the year he announced his retirement from the MotoGP Championship.
Gibernau is certainly not the first MotoGP racer to get the ire of the taxman, with Gibernau’s rival Valentino Rossi having been popped by the Italian government under similar circumstances, back in 2007.
Marco Melandri has also found himself on the wrong side of the law with the Italian tax authorities, as has Loris Capirossi, while Dani Pedrosa holds the distinction of the most bizzare crime, having been caught cheating on his yachtsman license.
What is interesting about Gibernau’s case though is that he has already been investigated by Spanish tax authorities for the exact same crime.
It’s not clear at this time if the Spanish government has new evidence against Gibernau, or what their reasons are for re-opening case. As such, this will be an interesting story to watch.
Source: El Pais