Shakira charged with failing to pay the Spanish government USD 13.9 million
On Tuesday, a Spanish judge gave the go-ahead for Shakira, a Colombian pop singer, to go on trial for tax fraud. In 2018, Spanish prosecutors charged the performer with evading taxes on 14.5 million euros (USD 13.9 million) of income received between 2012 and 2014.
If she is found guilty of tax evasion, prosecutors want to sentence her to eight years in prison and to pay a sizable fine. The 45-year-old Shakira has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and rejected a plea agreement with the government to avoid going to trial. According to her PR firm, she has already paid off all of her debts as well as an additional 3 million euros (USD 2.8 million) in interest.
The case depends on Shakira’s residences between 2012 and 2014. Although her official residence was in the Bahamas, Barcelona prosecutors claim that the Grammy winner spent more than half of that time in Spain and should have paid taxes there.
Since she began dating football player Gerard Pique, Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has been associated with Spain. The two-parent family, who previously shared a home in Barcelona, recently called it quits after an 11-year union. Over the past ten years, Spain has cracked down on football players who don’t pay their fair share of taxes, including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both athletes received prison sentences that were waived for first-time offenders after being found guilty of evasion.