6 MONTHS JAIL & €500k fine - Diego Costa sentenced for multimillion dollar image rights fraud, but won't serve time
The fiery striker is well-known for getting on the wrong side of the rules on the pitch, but this time the 31-year-old got on the wrong side of the law for failing to declare payments of €5.15 million ($5.8m) from his 2014 transfer to Premier League giants Chelsea.
Oddly, the Brazilian-born Costa, who is known more for his intensely competitive snarl than for his dashing good looks, was guilty of not declaring a cool €1 million in image rights.
Costa appeared in court covering his lucrative looks behind a protective mask to admit the fraud on Thursday, being sentenced to
But the cantankerous centre forward will not spend any time behind bars, as under Spanish law, a sentence of under two years for a non-violent crime can be commuted to a fine, and Costa paid €36,500 on top of his original penalty to dodge jail.
"Diego Costa reached an agreement a few months ago with the prosecutor and has already paid the corresponding fine plus interest, and the request for a prison sentence was withdrawn," an Atletico spokesman told the Reuters news agency.
Costa was instrumental in winning two Premier League titles during his time at Chelsea and was widely considered one of the best strikers in the division, but rejoined Atletico in 2017, where he helped the side win the Europa League in 2018.