Andrey Chesnokov was one of the first Russian tennis players to pursue a career abroad. The athlete became famous in the early nineties, when he won several ATP tournaments at once and even managed to get into the top ten of the world rankings. After 15 years of performing, he retired, having won more than three million dollars in prizes. It seemed that the tennis player practically could not worry about his future…
However, a few years after Andrei left tennis, a huge scandal broke out related precisely to the Russian’s income. Abroad, he was unexpectedly accused of serious tax fraud.
Chesnokov had to defend himself in court.
Two years in prison
Andrei Chesnokov finished his career in 2000, when he had already settled in France with his wife Alla. The couple settled in the suburbs of Paris, where they raised two children: Andrei and Isabelle; The girl was named that because she was born at St. Isabella Hospital. At the same time, the tennis player continued to perform from time to time in commercial tournaments, thus receiving additional income, and worked part-time as a coach: in particular, it was he who helped Marat Safin win the historic 2000 US Open title.
Chesnokov’s idyll was interrupted that same year by an unexpected accusation from the French authorities. In September, immediately after a successful trip to the United States, the former tennis player was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison and a huge fine: he had to pay more than 30 thousand euros. Furthermore, Andrei was forced to publish his verdict independently in a government newspaper.
The reason for the trial was tax evasion by Chesnokov. A French court accused the athlete of evading his obligations in 1994 and 1995. At that time, Andrei already lived permanently in the country’s capital, owned real estate there and even ran his own business. According to government estimates, during this period the tennis player earned around one and a half million euros.
For the second round
Fortunately, the athlete managed to avoid jail. Andrei rushed to appeal the verdict, involving experienced lawyers in the work. The lawyers showed that, although at that time he was still acting at a professional level, the tennis player spent most of the year traveling around the world, and Moscow was still considered his official place of registration. Consequently, Chesnokov paid all taxes in his homeland, avoiding them, as he should.
However, the court was in no hurry to accept the appeal and reconsider its decision. During this time, the athlete managed to find himself involved in another no less notorious scandal: in March 2003, he was already personally arrested by the French police. This time Andrei was accused of attacking… his own wife. The tennis player’s neighbors heard screams coming from the Chesnokovs’ house, after which they called the authorities. According to rumors, the conflict between the spouses occurred after Alla cheated on her husband by leaving with her lover to the Netherlands.
However, this time the matter did not go to court. And a month later it became known that all charges against Chesnokov had been dropped in the old case. However, a year later the Frenchman returned to the tennis business again. This time, the Treasury accused the tennis player of underestimating his income and sentenced him to eight months of suspended prison and a fine of 7.5 thousand euros. By that time, Andrei had already separated from his wife and moved from France to Moscow, but he still did not refuse to pay the required amount.
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