Report: Lefevere, Boonen and Devolder could face tax evasion trial

Etixx-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere, Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder could face trial for alleged tax evasion, according to a report in Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad on Tuesday.

Prosecutors in Kortrijk have made the recommendation after a long-running investigation that began in 2009. Het Nieuwsblad reports that five others with links to the QuickStep team could also face trial, although they have not been named.

A source from the Kortrijk prosecution told the AFP news agency that they are suspected of having “hidden their revenues from the tax authorities via complex schemes,” believed to include the payment of image rights through foreign subsidiaries.

In June 2013, it was reported that Boonen had paid out €2 million to resolve a tax bill that had been uncovered by the investigation. The bill reportedly dated from the period between 2005 and 2012 when he was officially resident in Monaco.

According to Het Nieuwsblad, Boonen, Lefevere and Devolder can avert a trial by paying a fine of up to 60% of the evaded tax.

“If those conditions are met, the criminal case will stop,” tax specialist Michel Maus told the newspaper. “It does not come to trial, then the suspects will not have a conviction or a criminal record.”

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