Man Utd's Tevez, Mascherano in 5-year jail threat

The Argentine pair are at the centre of a police probe in Brazil - and could face up to five years in jail for alleged tax evasion, according to reports in Brazil.

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Manchester United striker Tevez and Liverpool midfielder Mascherano moved to West Ham last year from Brazilian club Corinthians.

The country's authorities are now investigating alleged financial irregularities at the Sao Paulo club, involving players supplied by Iranian tycoon Kia Joorabchian and his company MSI.

They include Argentines Tevez and Mascherano, both 23, as well as Werder Bremen's Brazilian midfielder Carlos Alberto and his countryman, Besiktas midfielder Ricardinho.

Police are seeking to establish whether the stars were involved in a scheme to dodge Brazilian taxes, and are investigating both current and former Corinthians officials as well as Joorabchian.

Sao Paulo daily O Estado quoted a 70-page police report, and claimed that the players could face two to five years in jail if found guilty of not declaring money they received to Brazil's tax authorities.

Another city paper, Folha, alleged that Ricardinho and Alberto had struck an agreement with Corinthians and MSI to receive part of their salaries outside Brazil - which could constitute a crime in the South American country.

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