Former NHL goaltender Mika Noronen
Photo credit: Ilta Sanomat

Former NHL goaltender convicted of found guilty in Finland

Published May 14, 2024 at 8:53

Former NHL goaltender Mika Noronen has been convicted of tax fraud in his home country of Finland after failing to include his NHL pension on his tax return

Mika Noronen, a former first-round NHL pick who went on to play for the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks, has been found guilty of tax fraud in his home country of Finland. The conviction deals with income earned from his NHL pension.

According to Ilta Sanomat, Noronen was actually given a 60 day jail sentence, but it was suspended by a judge because of his clean criminal record. Noronen can avoid jail time by completing certain conditions. The prosecution asked for 8 months.

"It was his NHL pension. Noronen played in the NHL for several seasons during his career and was entitled to a pension of almost [$150,000 USD].

The pension was triggered when the ex-goalkeeper turned 40 in June, 2019. Noronen reported his tax number to the US authorities in Finland and requested payment to a Finnish bank account.

The money arrived in Noronen's account. The following spring, Noronen received a pre-filled tax return but failed to declare his pension income."

For his part, Noronen said it was a complete accident, and there was no intent on his part to avoid paying taxes on his pension.

"My intention was not to avoid tax. I wanted to pay my taxes in Finland, because this is where I live and where my children live."

Noronen has repaid the money he owed, which included what he called "a few tons" on interest. The judge in the case sided with Noronen, saying he did not believe the ex-NHLer was trying to evade paying taxes. However, what he did was still a crime and punishment was required.
May 14   |   131 answers
Former NHL goaltender convicted of found guilty in Finland

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