Maldini probed over possible tax corruption

MILAN - Former AC Milan and Italy captain Paolo Maldini is among 43 people to have been probed over potential illicit practices to obtain favourable tax treatment, investigative sources said.

The Milan prosecutor has concluded the investigation and it is now up to a judge to decide if any of the 43, including Maldini's wife, should be charged and sent to trial for corruption and abusive access of information systems.

A tax agency employee was arrested last June as a result of the inquiry and judicial papers show Maldini was caught on a phone tap in January 2009 asking the employee to compile a tax check on another man over a property deal.

"Maldini is certain he can demonstrate that he and his wife are not involved," Maldini's lawyer Danilo Buongiorno said in a statement.

"They should have been seen as victims, certainly not people to be investigated."

Maldini, 41, retired from football at the end of last season after a 24-year career in which he won five European Cups with Milan and broke every appearance record for the club.

Italian authorities have been rigorous in probing sports personalities over their tax arrangements in recent years, with MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi among those investigated.

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