In the News: Boonen, Lefevere, others accused of tax fraud

A Belgian newspaper claims the pair, along with others, is being investigated for tax evasion

Some top Belgian names are facing a possible trial over tax evasion, Belgian daily Het Nieuwsblad reported.

The newspaper reported Tom Boonen, Stijn Devolder, and Etixx-Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere could be called to trial by Belgian prosecutors in Kortrijk following an ongoing investigation going back several years.

Other riders are reportedly involved, the newspaper reported. One source told the AFP it was a “complicated scheme designed to hide revenue from tax authorities.”

Boonen lived a few years in Monaco, where tax rates are much lower than Belgium, but he has since returned to his home country. Already in 2013, Boonen agreed to pay tax authorities, but that evidently is not enough to avoid a possible trial.

There was no immediate response from team officials Tuesday.

Several riders call Monaco home, including Chris Froome (Sky) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Not only does the principality provide little or no tax burden, it also serves up mild weather and excellent training roads in nearby Italy and France.