Uli Hoeness decided Friday not to appeal his three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for tax evasion and announced that he was stepping down from his positions as FC Bayern Munich's president and chairman.

"After discussing the matter with my family I have decided to accept the judgment passed by Munich District Court (Landgericht) II regarding my tax affairs. I have instructed my legal representatives not to appeal the verdict," Hoeness said in a statement on Bayern's Web site.

"This corresponds to my understanding of integrity, decorum and personal responsibility. Evading tax was the biggest mistake of my life. I accept the consequences of this mistake," he added.

Hoeness also said he was resigning the offices of president of Bayern Munich and chairman of the club's Supervisory Board, effective immediately.

"By doing so I wish to avert further damage to my club. (Bayern) is my life's work and will always remain so," Hoeness said, adding that he will continue to be associated with the club "in other ways."

Hoeness was convicted Thursday of evading an estimated 27.2 million euros ($37.7 million) in taxes and sentenced to three years and six months behind bars.

The defendant was initially charged with evading 3.5 million euros ($4.9 million) in taxes, but he acknowledged on the first day of his four-day trial that he had defrauded the German tax authorities out of more than 18 million euros ($25 million).

Based on the testimony of a tax inspector, that amount was raised to 27.2 million euros.

The unpaid taxes stem from profits that Hoeness, who attempted to avoid trial by voluntarily disclosing the amount he had evaded, made in stock market speculations via a Swiss bank account.

Under German law, tax dodgers who fully account for their wrongdoing and pay what they owe with interest can avert prosecution.

The court, however, found that Hoeness' voluntary disclosure was incomplete. EFE