Updated: Monday, 02 June 2014 20:07 | By Agence France-Presse

Ex-Bayern chief begins jail term for tax fraud: lawyer

Football legend Uli Hoeness, former boss of powerhouse Bayern Munich, began a jail term for tax fraud in a German prison on Monday, his lawyers said. 

Ex-Bayern chief begins jail term for tax fraud: lawyer

Former Bayern Munich's President Uli Hoeness addresses the annual general meeting of FC Bayern Munich in Munich, southern Germany, on May 2, 2014 - by Christof Stache

"Mr Hoeness today began his sentence in Landsberg am Lech (prison)," a spokeswoman for his lawyers said, giving no further details.

A Munich court handed Hoeness, 62, a three-and-a-half year jail term in March for having cheated the state out of 28.5 million euros ($38.8 million) but it was unclear exactly when the sentence would start.

The Landsberg prison in southern Bavaria state is the jail where Adolf Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf" while serving a sentence for treason after the failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich.

The spectacular four-day trial of Hoeness, who spent four decades at the champion club Bayern Munich and also runs a successful sausage business, riveted football-obsessed Germany.

He admitted to hiding his wealth in secret Swiss bank accounts while obsessively "gambling" on stock and currency markets for years before seeking to come clean in return for immunity from prosecution.

But his January 2013 attempt to turn himself in to authorities was deemed too little, too late.

Prosecutors originally suspected the tax fraud case to amount to about 3.5 million euros, but on the trial's opening day Hoeness admitted it was more in the realm of 18.5 million euros.

A day later that figure again jumped, this time to 27.2 million euros, before the court recalculated it 28.5 million euros.

Hoeness has been replaced as club president and as chairman of its advisory board.

He spent more than four decades with the Bavarian sporting giants -- first as player, helping win then West Germany the 1974 World Cup, then as team manager and, since 2009, as club president.

Bayern became Germany's first side to win the treble titles of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup last season.

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