Brazil World Cup star Michel Bastos given two-month suspended prison sentence for sale of villa to 'drug smugglers'February 2, 2021
BRAZIL World Cup star Michel Bastos has been handed a prison sentence – after being found guilty of tax fraud and money laundering.
The left winger, 37, enjoyed a superb career in France with Lille and Lyon.
He also played for a long list of other clubs including Feyenoord, Schalke and Roma.
Bastos was even a former transfer target for the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea.
He stared five games at the 2010 World Cup finals as Brazil reached the last eight in South Africa.
But a French court has now given him a two-month suspended jail term and fined him £28,000 after he pleaded guilty to financial offences.
The hearing was told Bastos sold his £800,000 villa to suspected drug smugglers for under half that amount.
However, he was also given £140,000 in cash by one of three men arrested in 2018 – when police seized 36 kilos of cocaine.
The court heard the money was later paid into a Swiss bank account held by Bastos, who never declared it to the French tax authorities.
The player's agent Emmanuel de Kerchove, who accepted the cash, also copped a two-month suspended sentence and was fined £4,500.
Bastos' lawyer Sahand Saber said: "I don't want to comment."
The three suspected drug traffickers are due to go on trial later this year.
Bastos has every reason to believe the luxury villa at Ecully, west of Lyon, is cursed.
Vandals ransacked it in 2016, causing almost £50,000 of damage.
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