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Friday, November 18, 2022 – Former Aston Villa footballer, John Carew has been jailed for 14 months for tax evasion crimes, after unintentionally failing to disclose his income at the Oslo District Court.
Carew, 43, was also hit with a hefty fine of £45,353 (540,000 NOK) for tax fraud totaling £456,264 (5.4million NOK) back in his home country of Norway.
Should Carew have acted intentionally in committing tax fraud between 2017 and 2019, prosecutors reportedly believed an appropriate punishment for Carew would have been a prison sentence of around two years and seven months, while his defendants wanted a community punishment.
In the 38-page judgment, the court concluded that Carew acted ‘grossly negligently’ but believes that it cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt that the 43-year-old provided incorrect information to the Norwegian tax authorities.
‘According to the evidence presented, the court cannot see that there is a cover for Carew’s decision not to disclose his income and assets, even if the description of the offence was thereby fulfilled,’ district court judge Ingvild Boe Hornburg said in the judgement. ‘In the court’s view, there is nothing in the evidence that supports such a hypothesis.’
The Norwegian had previously pleaded guilty to fraud charges brought by the Norwegian tax authority, with his defence attorney Berit Reiss-Andersen insisting this case should have been handled as a confession case, given how he admitted to the tax evasion but maintained throughout that he had not committed fraud on purpose.
Carew’s lawyer also believes the ruling should be considered a victory.
‘This shows that John Carew is believed on all counts,’ Berit Reiss-Andersen said in a statement, via Norwegian news outlet E24. ‘The court has concluded that he has acted grossly negligently, but not with intent. We have claimed this all along, and Carew has been clear that he has wanted to make amends.’
The report goes on to claim that neither party have decided whether or not to appeal the judgement.
It also claims a so-called 183-day rule has been used against Carew in his tax evasion case.
The former Norway international himself claimed that his actions were the result of poor advice from friend, lawyer and former agent Per A. Flod.
Carew insists that Flod’s advice led him to not disclose income and assets from outside of his home country, claiming he was ‘controlled as a puppet’.
‘I trusted him blindly,’ Carew said. ‘I have been convinced that he was right. He controlled me almost like a puppet.
‘I understand that it is grossly negligent of me to trust him so much, but that is why I have done it.’