Shakira faces EIGHT YEARS in prison for £12million tax fraud

Shakira faces EIGHT YEARS in prison for £12million tax fraud

Shakira faces EIGHT YEARS in prison and a £19million fine over £12million tax fraud: Prosecutors are calling for a tough sentence after the singer refused an out-of-court deal and denied wrongdoing

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

Shakira faces EIGHT YEARS in prison for £12million tax fraud

Shakira (pictured in Mexico this week) faces up to eight years in prison in Spain for allegedly evading £12million in taxes 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 £12million tax evasion.

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

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

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

The charges were included in an indictment filed by prosecutors at the investigative court near Barcelona and 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 corporate structure to avoid taxes.

She is accused of using the illegal arrangement in 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 amid allegations in local media that Pique had been unfaithful.

Shakira is said to have tried twice to rekindle the relationship but was rebuffed by Pique before the couple confirmed their split.

Despite the split, the couple appear to have remained civil and have been spotted attending their children’s sports games together.

A spokesman for Shakira said: “Shakira has always cooperated and obeyed the law, exhibited impeccable behavior as an individual and as a taxpayer, and faithfully followed the advice of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a renowned and globally recognized tax firm.

“Unfortunately, the Spanish tax authorities, which lose every second lawsuit with its taxpayers, continue to violate their rights and pursue another baseless case.

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

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

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

Shakira, previously a tax resident in the Bahamas, was only registered as fully tax resident in Spain in 2015.

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

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

Tax inspectors spent more than a year checking Shakira, even visiting her favorite barber in Barcelona and checking her social media to show she had spent most of the three years in dispute 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, which prosecutors filed with her criminal complaint, claimed the time she spent outside Spain was “sporadic absences” related to work commitments.

Shakira has denied any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for the undersigned said: “Shakira has always cooperated and obeyed the law, exhibited impeccable behavior as an individual and as a taxpayer, and faithfully followed the advice of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a renowned and globally recognized tax firm.

“Unfortunately, the Spanish tax authorities, which lose every second lawsuit with its taxpayers, continue to violate their rights and pursue another baseless case.

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

A date for the trial has not yet been set as some analysts predict a deal could still be struck in the eleventh hour before Shakira is asked to comment.

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

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

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