24 years in prison and a 12 million euro fine. This is the request from the Spanish Public Prosecutor, which accuses Sito Pons of having simulated residence in London and Monaco in order not to pay taxes on the Iberian Peninsula.
In the last few hours, however, the owner of the team of the same name has defended himself, through a letter issued by his lawyers, based on five points, published by Marca.
Point 1: Mr Pons actually resided in Monaco until 2012 and subsequently in the United Kingdom, as evidenced, from the outset, by the certificates issued for this purpose by the authorities of the respective countries. As our courts have established, the mere possession of the tax residence certificates of another state would be sufficient to exclude committing a crime of tax fraud.
Point 2: since 2012 Mr. Pons has been paying his taxes in the United Kingdom in accordance with the legislation of that country, where he has his habitual residence and the centre of his economic interests, in particular the activity of his PONS RACING team. The British authorities themselves have vehemently defended Mr. Pons in London before Spain, in the procedure foreseen to avoid the double taxation of taxpayers. This procedure is awaiting a response from the Spanish tax authorities to requests made by their British counterparts. In this context, the Spanish authorities hastily completed the inspection procedures and postponed the procedure to the tax authorities before waiting for the amicable procedure to be resolved. This is extremely important because the initiation of the amicable procedure between Spain and the United Kingdom should have paralyzed any tax action and therefore should never have reached the Public Prosecutor's Office for the initiation of criminal proceedings against Mr. Pons.
Point 3: Mr. Pons' frequent visits to Barcelona, to which the prosecutor refers in his indictment, are justified by the fact that a large part of his family lives in that city and that this is the usual meeting point for the his team on his travels around the world during the racing season
Point 4: This accusation from the Public Prosecutor's Office is part of a persecution that the Spanish Treasury has unjustifiably undertaken against our client for years.
Point 5: The evident disproportion of the requested penalties (twenty-four years in prison, i.e. the conviction of two murders) demonstrates the willingness of both the Public Prosecutor and the Tax Office to illegitimately use our client for exemplary purposes in front of Spanish taxpayers and unduly compel him to pay large sums which he owes in no way.