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Spanish tennis star Arantxa Sánchez Vicario found guilty of multi-million euros fraud

Spanish former professional tennis player Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, left, and her husband Josep Santacana, arrive for the Laureus Awards in Abu Dhabi, in 2010.
Spanish former professional tennis player Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, left, and her husband Josep Santacana, arrive for the Laureus Awards in Abu Dhabi, in 2010. Copyright AP Photo/Nousha Salimi, file
Copyright AP Photo/Nousha Salimi, file
By Euronews with AP
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Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, once the world's number-one tennis player, has been found guilty of fraud alongside her former husband, Josep Santacana, whom she blamed for the crime.

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Spain's former professional tennis player Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and her ex-husband Josep Santacana were found guilty of fraud by a Spanish court on Wednesday and were both given a prison sentence.

The Barcelona-based court found that the Wimbledon finalist and 14-time Grand Slam winner and her former husband had hidden assets in an attempt to avoid paying a €6 million debt to Banque de Luxembourg. 

Despite the sentence received, Sánchez Vicario will avoid serving prison time as the court waived her sentence as a first-time offender, as long as she doesn't re-offend within two years and pay her fine. Already last year, the former tennis star had agreed with prosecutors to admit to the accusations in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Her former husband, whom Sánchez Vicario blamed for the fraudulent manoeuvre received a higher prison sentence of 3 years and 3 months. 

During the trial last year, the former tennis champion said she had trusted her then-husband with handling her money and she was not aware of any illegal tampering with her family assets. The two divorced in 2019.

Both must compensate the Banque de Luxembourg with the payment of €6.6 million - a sum which corresponds to the unpaid debt plus interest. 

Sánchez Vicario, who's now 52, was once the world's number-one tennis player in both singles and doubles. She won the French Open in 1989, 1994, and 1998 and the US Open in 1994.

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