Petacchi – tax evasion?

Several stories have run with allegations that Alessandro “Ale-Jet” Petacchi is under investigation for tax dodging. Here’s citing an Italian newspaper:

The Lampre-Farnese Vini sprinter allegedly earned three million Euro in image rights and advertising contracts… the fraud was organised through a Dutch company, with Petacchi keeping the money in a Swiss bank account.

Italian sports stars are well know for escaping the tax man. The likes of Cipollini and Pozzato live in Monaco, the Carmiooro-NGC team is registered… in Britain and it’s not just cyclists, tax dodging is almost sport in Italy. What shocks me is how Petacchi can earn millions from his image. Just look at this:

Yes, that’s Alé-Jet with Italy’s Federica Ridolfi, who seems to be famous… for being famous. Male eyes might be drawn to Federica’s oversized chest but check out Ale-Jet’s tacky polyester attire. How can you earn so much money from such cheap work?