After losing their case against Argentine football legend, Diego Maradona who was accused of not paying a tax bill of 37.2 million euros (23.5 million of which was interest), the Italian tax man saw another famous sports star accused of tax evasion slip threw their sticky fingers, Max Biaggi.
The retired six-time World Champion was to be tried for tax evasion, but the 7th Criminal Court in Rome threw out the case because it reached the statute of limitations.
Biaggi had used the scudo fiscale, or “tax shield” law (which wipes the slate clean of any tax offences) to bring back money that he had desposited on foreign accounts to Italy, but he was still to undergo trial for tax evasion because the Italian Revenue office believed that Biaggi’s domicile in the Principality of Monaco was fake and only to take advantage of the country’s much lighter tax regime.
Biaggi isn’t the only Italian motorcycle star accused of tax evasion, Valentino Rossi was also caught up in the net, and he settled with the tax man - without putting up a legal battle - for 35 million euros. Marco Melandri was handed a suspended jail sentence last year and former MotoGP rider Loris Capirossi was ordered to pay a 2 million euro fine in 2010.