Pop star Shakira reaches a deal with Spanish prosecutors to avoid risk of prison after admitting to 14.5 million euros tax fraud.
Agreement Reached on Tax Fraud Trial
Pop star Shakira has reached a last-minute deal with Spanish prosecutors to avoid the risk of going to prison on the opening day of her tax fraud trial in Barcelona. She admitted to six counts of failing to pay the Spanish government 14.5 million euros in taxes between 2012 and 2014.
Outcome of the Deal
Under the deal, Shakira is to receive a suspended three-year sentence and a fine of 7 million euros. The trial was called off after just eight minutes, which was expected to include more than 100 witnesses over the following weeks.
Shakira expressed that her decision to resolve the matter was with the best interest of her kids at heart. She emphasized the need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on her family and career opportunities.
Background of the Case
The case was focused on Shakira’s residency during the period of 2012-2014, with prosecutors alleging that she spent more than half of that period in Spain and should have paid taxes on her worldwide income in the country. However, her official residence was still in the Bahamas, where tax rates are much lower than in Spain.
Shakira’s defense team had prepared for the trial to demonstrate her innocence, but the circumstances changed, and she opted to accept the deal to avoid the risk of a prison sentence.
Previous Stance and Public Reaction
Although Shakira had previously turned down a deal offered by prosecutors in 2022, she maintained her innocence and chose to leave the issue in the hands of the law. She had also already paid what she owed and an additional 3 million euros in interest. In a separate investigation, she was charged with alleged tax evasion of 6.7 million euros in 2018 income by Spanish state prosecutors.
Other High-Profile Cases
The case of Shakira adds to a series of high-profile tax-related legal battles, including those of soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. In Spain, there have been prior instances where prison time for first-time offenders was waived if they were sentenced to less than two years behind bars.
Personal Life and Current Residence
Formerly residing in Barcelona with her ex-partner, soccer star Gerard Piqué, Shakira currently resides in Miami following the end of their 11-year relationship. She has two children with Piqué.
Acknowledgements and Contributions
After expressing gratitude to her fans in Spain following the Latin Grammy Awards gala, Shakira thanked them for being with her in both the good and bad times.