Jorge Mendes: Agent denies aiding tax evasion as Radamel Falcao is investigated
Football agent Jorge Mendes has denied helping footballers evade tax illegally by creating shell companies.
Mendes told a court hearing held behind closed doors in Madrid that he never advised his clients on tax matters, his company Gestifute said in a statement.
The agent, who could be put under official investigation in the case, gave evidence at the hearing into alleged tax evasion by Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, one of his clients.
Falcao, like Mendes, denies wrongdoing.
The former Chelsea and Manchester United striker is accused of failing to declare 5.3m euros (£4.69m) of income earned from image rights between 2012 and 2013 while he played for Atletico Madrid.
Falcao, 31, is alleged to have used a network of shell companies in the British Virgin Islands, Republic of Ireland, Colombia and Panama to avoid taxes on image rights income.
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The Colombia international's case is being heard as the Spanish authorities place the tax affairs of footballers under increasing scrutiny, with a number of Mendes' clients being investigated, including Real Madrid team-mates Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabio Coentrao, who have also denied committing any offences.
Judge Monica Gomez Ferrer, who is hearing the evidence relating to Falcao, is also overseeing the case of 32-year-old Portugal captain Ronaldo, and is scheduled to question him on 31 July over allegations he illegally evaded 14.7m euros (£13m) in taxes.
Coentrao, the 29-year-old Portugal international, is accused of having hidden close to 1.3m euros (£1.15m) from the tax authorities.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, another client of 51-year-old Mendes, has been accused of failing to pay millions of euros in taxes during his time in charge of Real Madrid.
However, Gestifute has said Mourinho, 54, had resolved the situation with the tax authorities.
Angel di Maria, the 29-year-old Paris St-Germain winger who is represented by Mendes, agreed to pay 2m euros (£1.76m) to settle a tax case last week.
Earlier this month, Gestifute made a statement denying that Mendes has done anything wrong.
It read: "Neither Jorge Mendes nor the company he manages, Gestifute, participate in or offer any service linked, directly or indirectly, to financial, fiscal or legal advice to their clients."