Diego Costa Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud, Given Suspended Jail Sentence

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MADRID (AP) — Atlético Madrid striker Diego Costa pleaded guilty to tax fraud on Thursday after not paying more than 1 million euros ($1.1 million) from income earned through image rights.

Costa was given a six-month suspended sentence after reaching a deal with authorities to pay more than 500,000 euros ($560,000).

The striker appeared briefly at a Madrid court to finalize the deal with authorities.

Spain has cracked down on tax fraud by soccer players in recent years, including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and coach José Mourinho. None of them did prison time, but they all paid hefty fines.