Hacker who exposed footballers’ secrets (including how to avoid taxes) found guilty

He was sentenced to four years in prison but will not go behind bars. This is the punishment imposed on Rui Pinto, the activist and hacker who triggered the “Football Leaks” scandal, for publishing on his eponymous website confidential information regarding the transfer of football players and the illegal financial behavior of some of the most prestigious football clubs. On Monday, September 11, a Portuguese court handed Pinto a suspended sentence after finding him guilty of unauthorized access to computer systems in five different countries, an attempted extortion and, in three cases, interception of correspondence for the purpose of accessing email. By Portuguese media.

The conviction came for hacking into computers belonging to the Doyen sports investment fund, the Portuguese attorney general’s office and a Lisbon-based law firm. In 2015 Pinto (born 1988) created the website Football LeaksHe regularly provided information about the transfer fees and signed contracts of football players, including world-famous football players. Thanks to him, the alleged details about the contract of Neymar, who was playing for Barcelona at the time, and the contract of the Welsh striker Gareth Bale, who was playing for Real Madrid at the time, appeared on the internet. The site also revealed tax avoidance schemes used by the highest-paid players, as well as ownership models used by clubs to avoid tax. The most important revelations concerned the irregular management of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain’s funds.

According to reports in the Portuguese press, the judge presiding over the case, Margarida Alves, said: “The court decided that Rui Pinto should receive a single prison sentence of four years… but the sentence does not need to be served in prison.” She continued the reasons for the decision as follows: “The court, “He hopes that the remorse Rui Pinto showed in court is serious and that he will refrain from committing the actions described herein from now on.” The hacker, who taught himself the use of computer systems, has faced nearly 90 different charges so far, but defended himself by claiming that he acted as a “whistleblower” capable of providing important details about the world, like Julian Assange. Dissemination of football to the public and also useful for judicial purposes.

This role was recognized by the Portuguese court, which therefore convicted him only for extortion crimes against the Doyen fund. A total of 77 charges were dropped, primarily those related to improper access and breach of correspondence. Pinto’s lawyers helped mitigate the charges by informing the court that Pinto’s whistleblowing activities ultimately assisted European authorities in many investigations, according to the Associated Press. In fact, the man cooperated with the authorities of Belgium, France, Switzerland and Malta. But Pinto must face a second trial, where he is charged by the Portuguese prosecutor’s office with 377 hacking-related crimes. Gathered outside the court were some supporters of the young man, who was seen by some of the public as a brave and talented hero who could unleash a system of power as effective as football.

Source: Today IT