Shakira could soon find herself in deep, deep legal trouble.
The superstar performer is facing the possibility of serious prison time in Spain after recently rejecting a settlement deal regarding allegations of tax fraud and evasion. Now, prosecutors in the European country are going hard at seeking justice for the star’s alleged misdeeds.
On Friday morning, Spanish prosecutors announced they intend to ask a court to sentence the Colombian-born pop star to eight years and two months in prison if she is convicted of tax fraud and evasion in her expected forthcoming trial. She was first charged with the crimes back in 2018.
The imminent trial contains six charges against the singer, whose real name is Shakira Isabel Mubarak Ripoll. Chief among them is the allegation that she failed to pay the Spanish government roughly 14.5 million euros (just under $15 million USD) in tax money between 2012 and 2014. The government alleges she lived for more than half of each year between 2012 and 2014 in Spain, and thus should have paid taxes in the country.
In addition to seeking the money they say is owed to the government of Spain, prosecutors are also planning to demand a fine of more than 23 million euros (roughly $24 million USD). The thought of the Hips Don’t Lie singer then serving more than eight years in prison time on top of those steep financial penalties if she’s convicted at trial is just… oof…
This stunning move by Spanish prosecutors came on Friday because earlier this week Shakira rejected a settlement offer made by the government’s attorneys. Her legal team apparently didn’t want to settle the issue out of court, and thus, she will now face the proverbial music. A date for that tax trial has not yet been set, according to the Associated Press.
In a statement released to the media earlier this week about the settlement rejection, per Billboard, the 45-year-old singer’s Spanish public relations firm Llorente y Cuenca said she “trusts her innocence and chooses to leave the issue in the hands of the law.” According to the AP, those reps also asserted the singer has already “deposited the amount she is said to owe, including 3 million euros in interest” in an account and is prepared to pay back the government. That’s probably a good sign?!
The news outlet also reported the existence of a second, newer response statement. This one came out on Friday from a London-based PR firm repping the Whenever, Wherever crooner.
In the new statement, the publicists accused the Spanish Tax Agency of violating Shakira’s rights and added:
“[Shakira] has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer.”
Of course, Shakira has been in the news quite a bit this summer after ending an 11-year-long relationship with professional soccer player Gerard Piqué. The couple had been living in Barcelona with their two children before scandalous allegations of infidelity surfaced against the FC Barcelona star back in June.
Now, it appears she’ll have another Spanish showdown — of a different kind — in her future.
Reactions, Perezcious readers??
[Image via WENN/Avalon]
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