The Italian businessman has been fined €600,000 after illegally evading import duty on luxury yacht
The man thought to be the next owner of Leeds United Football Club, Massimo Cellino has been found guilty of tax evasion on his yacht and has been ordered to pay a fine of €600,000.
A court in Sardinia convicted Mr Cellino after he failed to pay €400,000 in import tax on his yacht Nelie.
Judge Sandra Lepore also ordered that the yacht be confiscated from Mr Cellino, who was not in court.
It is now likely that the Football League will block Cellino’s proposed takeover of Leeds United despite the fact he has been bankrolling the club since February.
Italian authorities seized the vessel back in 2010 after it was transported from the United States, where it was purchased.
Speaking outside the court in Cagliari earlier today, Mr Cellino’s defence lawyer said that his client intended to appeal against the ruling.
Giovanni Cocco told the Guardian: “This verdict is absolutely unjust and we will appeal”.