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Witness: Bayern Munich president dodged more taxes

Published: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:43 p.m. CDT
Caption
(AP Photo/Sven Hoppe, Pool)
Uli Hoeness, center, President of German first division Bundesliga football club Bayern Munich, arrives for the second day of his trial at the regional court in Munich, southern Germany, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Hoeness stunned a German court on Monday by admitting he had evaded taxes of 18.5 million euros (US dollar 26 million) using a secret Swiss bank account - more than five times the amount on a prosecutors' charge sheet.

MUNICH — Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness may have evaded millions more in taxes than he has already admitted to in court, an expert witness testified on Tuesday.

A tax fraud investigator told the Munich state court she estimates Hoeness owes at least 23.7 million euros in taxes on top of 3.5 million euros that prosecutors included in their indictment against the 62-year-old president of Germany's leading football club.

This would make the total amount Hoeness is said to have avoided through an undeclared Swiss bank account to 27.2 million euros ($37.7 million) — well beyond the 18.5 million euros he confessed to on Monday when he told the court he wanted all facts "transparently on the table."

"The defense didn't challenge these figures," court spokeswoman Andrea Titz said of the new numbers that came out in Tuesday's hearing.

The investigator was heard as a witness because she has been tasked with examining 70,000 pages of documentation that Hoeness' defense team submitted to the court in the past two weeks.

"The question that arises is why the documents were submitted so late," Titz said.

Hoeness faces punishment ranging from a fine to 10 years in prison if found guilty, and experts say the only way he can avoid jail time is if judges consider his confession a mitigating factor. Hoeness, who was part of West Germany's 1974 World Cup-winning squad, first reported himself to authorities last year around the same time that German media were investigating reports of high-profile tax evaders.

On Wednesday, the court will question another tax inspector about Hoeness' claim that he was able to make up for stock losses by using other money he had, Titz said.

A verdict might be possible as initially scheduled for Thursday, she said.

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