Hoeness sent to 'Mein Kampf' jail in tax evasion crackdown

Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:18pm EDT
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By Jens Hack

LANDSBERG, Germany (Reuters) - Former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, convicted of tax evasion in one of Germany's most spectacular cases of fraud, will spend the next 3-1/2 years in a prison that once housed Adolf Hitler.

Prison officials took 160 journalists on a tour on Monday of the prison 70 km (45 miles) west of Munich, where Hitler dictated "Mein Kampf" to Rudolf Hess after being convicted for his failed 1923 beer hall putsch. Its 420 current inmates include murderers, drug-dealers and sex offenders.

Hoeness, Germany's most famous soccer manager, was convicted on March 16 of evading 28.5 million euros ($39 million) in taxes on income earned in a secret Swiss bank account.

He had hoped his voluntary disclosure of income earned would lead to leniency and a suspended sentence.

Tax evasion is a serious crime in Germany and his case shocked the nation, prompting thousands of tax dodgers to turn themselves in. The maximum sentence is 10 years.

Landsberg prison deputy director Harald Eichinger told reporters that Hoeness, 62, will spend the first two weeks in a larger cell with a cellmate "for medical reasons" to adjust to life behind bars before moving into a single cell.

He is expected to start his jail term in the next few weeks.

Hoeness, who as a star player helped West Germany win the 1974 World Cup, resigned as chairman of the supervisory board and president of Bayern Munich a day after his conviction.   Continued...