Shakira faces eight years in prison over £12 million tax fraud

Shakira faces eight years in prison over £12 million tax fraud

Shakira faces EIGHT YEARS in prison and £19MILLION fine in over £12million tax fraud: Prosecutors want tough sentence after singer rejects out-of-court deal and denies wrongdoing

  • Pop star Shakira has said she faces eight years in prison for an alleged £12 million fraud
  • Prosecutors are also asking the judges in Barcelona to fine her £19 million
  • She is accused of evading taxes between 2012 and 2014 while living in Barcelona
  • The 45-year-old has already paid back money she is accused of taking, plus £3 million in interest

Shakira faces eight years in prison over £12 million tax fraud

Shakira (pictured in Mexico this week) faces up to eight years in prison in Spain for allegedly avoiding £12m in tax between 2012 and 2014

Pop star Shakira has been warned she could be jailed for up to eight years if found guilty of an alleged £12m tax fraud.

Spanish prosecutors are also demanding a £19 million fine for the 45-year-old singer, who is charged with six counts of defrauding the state between 2012 and 2014.

It comes after the Colombian-born mother of two rejected an out-of-court settlement that would have seen her admit fault.

She has already repaid the money she allegedly owes the Treasury, along with interest believed to total £3m.

The charges were contained in an indictment submitted by prosecutors to the investigative court near Barcelona, ​​and were made public for the first time today.

Shakira – full name Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll – is accused of pretending to live abroad and using a complex offshore company structure to avoid taxes.

She is accused of using the illegal scheme from 2012 and 2014, when she was in a relationship with footballer Gerard Pique, who lives and plays in Barcelona.

The couple – who have two children together – split earlier this year following allegations in local media that Pique had been unfaithful.

Shakira is said to have tried to rekindle the relationship twice, but was rejected by Pique, before the pair confirmed their separation.

Despite the split, the couple appear to have remained on civil terms and have been seen at their children’s sporting events together.

A spokesperson for Shakira said: “Shakira has always cooperated and complied with the law, demonstrated impeccable conduct as an individual and taxpayer, and faithfully followed the advice of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a prestigious and globally recognized tax firm.

“Unfortunately, the Spanish Tax Office, which loses one in two court cases against its taxpayers, continues to violate her rights and pursue yet another baseless case.

“Shakira is confident that her innocence will be proven at the end of the trial.”

The alleged fraud took place around the time Shakira moved to Barcelona to live with her partner Gerard Pique, who plays soccer in the city

The alleged fraud took place around the time Shakira moved to Barcelona to live with her partner Gerard Pique, who plays soccer in the city

Shakira, a former tax resident in the Bahamas, first registered as a full tax resident in Spain in 2015.

Official residents of Spain pay Spanish tax on their worldwide income.

Individuals who have spent more than 183 days in Spain during a given calendar year are considered Spanish residents for tax purposes.

Tax inspectors spent more than a year checking on Shakira, even visiting her favorite hairdressers in Barcelona and checking social media to try to show she spent most of the three years in contention in Spain.

They concluded that she had spent 242 days in Spain in 2012, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in the country in 2014.

The report prosecutors submitted with their criminal charges alleged that the time she spent outside Spain was “sporadic absence” related to work commitments.

Shakira has denied any wrongdoing.

A spokesperson for the signatory said: “Shakira has always cooperated and complied with the law, demonstrated impeccable conduct as an individual and taxpayer, and faithfully followed the advice of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a prestigious and globally recognized tax firm.

“Unfortunately, the Spanish Tax Office, which loses one in two court cases against its taxpayers, continues to violate her rights and pursue yet another baseless case.

“Shakira is confident that her innocence will be proven at the end of the trial.”

A date for the trial has yet to be set with some analysts predicting an eleventh hour deal could still be struck before Shakira is asked to take the stand.

The singer and Pique announced they had split in May after 11 years together following unconfirmed reports that the footballer had cheated.

The former couple have reportedly spent the last few weeks negotiating the future of their two children because Shakira wants to move to Miami with them.

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