Former Tottenham defender Gica Popescu has been sentenced to Romanian jail for three years and one month after he was found guilty of tax evasion and money laundering.
The Romanian international, who retired from football in 2003 after making 115 appearances for his country, was favourite to become the next Romanian FA president on Wednesday, but he is one of eight men that have been sentenced today in connection with a number of financial deals in relation with the transfers of 12 players, AP is reporting.
All 12 transfers investigated involved players leaving Romanian clubs Dinamo Bucharest, Rapid Bucharest, Otelul Galati and Gloria Bistrita in order to head abroad in-between 1999 and 2005.
AP also reports that “prosecutors said the state lost 1.7 million euros ($2.34 million) in taxes and the clubs lost 10 million euros ($13.8 million) because the officials registered false sums for the transfers.”
The sentences cannot be appealed as all are issued by the Bucharest Court of Appeal and are deemed final.
Seven others were sentenced to jail along with Popescu as part of the investigation. George Copos, Mihai Stoica, Cristi Borcea, Jean Pădureanu, Ioan Becali, Victor Becali and Gheorghe Nețoiu will all also serve their sentences with no appeal.
Popescu played for Spurs from 1994-95, and also had spells with PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and Galatasaray.
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