After years of playing secret service agent James Bond in the movies, Sean Connery might be on the wrong side of the law. The latest worry for 79-year-old Connery and his wife is a tax fraud investigation involving the sale of their land in Spain.
A property firm involved in the sale of Connery’s land did not pay taxes on the deal, according to the UK’s Daily Mail. The property was outside of the Mediterranean resort in Malaga, Spain. The sale of the land development rights generated a tax bill of more than $2 million, which authorities say, was never paid. But that’s not the only problem the Oscar award-winning actor is facing.
The same law firm – Diaz-Bastien & Truan – that assisted Connery in the sale of the land also helped him sell his luxury seaside villa just east of Marbella, Spain, near Malaga. That villa was sold in 1999 for approximately $9 million. In 2004 and 2005, the villa was leveled and a four story luxury apartment building with 72 units was built in its place.
In May 2010, Spanish police – in a covert operation labeled Goldfinger – raided the offices of Diaz-Bastien & Truan. That investigation is looking into charges of money laundering in connection with the sale of Connery’s mansion. The Daily Mail reported that authorities seized roughly 30,000 documents in the raid.
Connery and his wife, Micheline, who now live in the Bahamas, have not been arrested or charged in the matter. However, Connery has been placed under investigation, which is the first step leading to formal charges, according to Spanish-language newspaper Sur.
Connery played the role of James Bond, an agent in the British Secret Intelligence Service, for seven films from 1962 to 1983. His career has been marked by many honors, official and unofficial. He once was named the Greatest Living Scot. In 1989 he was proclaimed the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. In 1999, at the age of 69, he was voted the Sexiest Man of the Century. And in 2000 he was knighted. In recent years, Connery has done very little acting. His last major role was in 2006 playing Allan Quartermain in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.