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Ex-Caen coach handed three-year jail term in tax trial

Caen (France) (AFP) – A French court handed former Caen coach Franck Dumas a three-year jail sentence for tax fraud on Tuesday, but the former Monaco, Marseille and Newcastle player was neither present in court nor represented by a lawyer.

The court heard Dumas described by tax inspectors as a high roller who made large cash withdrawals on spending sprees and frequented casinos. 

The main charge against him is hiding 450,00 euros ($505,000, £380,000) earnings from his 2012 tax returns.

The 48-year-old former Monaco midfielder was coach of Ligue 1’s Caen between 2005-2012, but was living in Equatorial Guinea as recently as August.

In total the tax authorities say Dumas owes 557,496 euros from a three-year period, and Dumas wrote to the court from Guinea in August promising to attend the trial and to settle the debt.

Judge (president of the Caen correctional tribunal) Christophe Subts was scathing of Dumas and his wife’s behaviour, and the sentence he handed down was heavier than the three years with 18 months suspended that the prosecution had originally demanded.

“In sport sometimes money seems to disappear,” he said.

“He should have settled his debts.”

“He was paid 1.395 million euros in 2012,” the judge said, explaining that a large part had been paid into a joint account with his wife.

This account was later shifted into his wife’s name and a sum of 450,000 euros was in that way left undeclared to the tax authorities.

“He was a high roller, he made large cash withdrawals and it seems he was gambling at casinos. He had no problem blowing his money,” regional tax inspector Michel Dieder told the court.

As a player Dumas played more than 500 top flight games with Caen, Monaco and Marseille and won the French league title with Monaco. He also played six matches in a brief spell at Newcastle United in 2000.

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