Lawyers used by Sir Sean Connery face jail over tax fraud

Lawyers who acted for Sean Connery have been handed lengthy prison sentences after being convicted of tax fraud following an inquiry sparked by the sale of the actor's Spanish home.

Luis Juega Garcia was sentenced to nine years and three months jail after being convicted of four tax crimes after a long-running trial at a court in Malaga.

Hector Diaz Bastien and Ramon Asesio Bolea were both handed seven year nine month sentences - two years seven months for each of the three tax crimes they were convicted of - after the trial at a court in Malaga.

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The three men were also ordered to repay more than £14 million in unpaid company tax along with two other offenders including one referred to in the past as Sir Sean’s wife’s Marbella banker - and fined heavily over their individual tax return offences.

Hector Diaz Bastien was the founder of law firm Diaz-Bastien & Truan which the James Bond actor used when he sold Marbella home Casa Malibu in 1999 - and Bolea and Garcia partners.

The house near Puerto Banus was subsequently demolished and more than 70 flats, later sold for an estimated £45 million, were built in its place despite planning regulations stipulating only five flats could be built there.

The deal led to a high-profile police and judicial investigation dubbed Goldfinger after the 1964 Bond film starring Sir Sean.

The Scots actor was asked about his links to convicted criminals and his personal finances during the Spanish court probe into the sale.

Sir Sean, 86, was quizzed on whether he had offshore firms, had ever given gifts to Land Registry workers and what his relationship was with corrupt former mayors of Marbella jailed for crimes including embezzlement and fraud.

He was told he would not face trial at the start of 2014 but his French-born wife Micheline Roquebrune was ordered to stand trial in November last year.

A date for her trial - which the Spanish authorities decided to hold separately from that of the 18 defendants who took the witness stand in January at a criminal court in Malaga - is expected to be set shortly.

The lawyers facing prison were informed of their fate in a 575-page written sentence.

They are expected to appeal and will not be incarcerated until the appeal is finalised.

Sir Sean named the law firm implicated in the Goldfinger case when he replied to an affidavit sent to him by the Marbella court while he was still under investigation.

He said: “I have been informed by my Spanish lawyers, the law firm Diaz-Bastien & Truan Abogados, that I have been named as a party in criminal proceedings in Spain.”

A spokesperson for the lawyers said:

“Lawyers Luis Juega Garcia and Hector Diaz Bastien have not been jailed.

“Within the period established by Spanish law, both lawyers will lodge an appeal at the Spanish Supreme Court regarding this ruling.

“We are fully convinced of both the innocence and the professional behavior of our lawyers, and we will dedicate every mean available to us to prove that.

“The Law Firm, DBA, will continue working as usual, tending to our clients and developing the commercial expansion plans started in the last months.”