Shakira is facing EIGHT YEARS in jail and £19MILLION fine over £12m tax fraud: Prosecutors demand stiff sentence after singer rejects out-of-court deal and denies wrongdoing
- Pop star Shakira told she faces eight years in jail over alleged £12million fraud
- Prosecutors are also asking Barcelona court judges to fine her £19million
- She is accused of dodging tax between 2012 and 2014 while living in Barcelona
- 45-year-old has already paid money she is accused of taking, plus £3m interest
Shakira (pictured in Mexico this week) is facing up to eight year in jail in Spain for allegedly dodging £12million in tax between 2012 and 2014
Pop star Shakira has been warned she could be jailed for up to eight years if she is found guilty of an alleged £12million tax fraud.
Spanish prosecutors are also demanding a £19million 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 involved her admitting wrongdoing.
She has already repaid the money she allegedly owes the treasury, along with interest believed to total £3million.
The charges were contained in an indictment submitted by prosecutors to the investigating 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 tax.
She is accused of using the illegal arrangement 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 amid allegations in local media that Pique had been unfaithful.
Shakira is said to have tried to rekindle the relationship twice but was rebuffed by Pique, before the pair confirmed their separation.
Despite the split, the couple seem to have remained on civil terms and have been seen attending their children’s sports games together.
A spokesman for Shakira said: ‘Shakira has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer, and faithfully following the counsel of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a prestigious and globally recognized tax firm.
‘Unfortunately, the Spanish Tax Office, which loses one out of every two lawsuits with its taxpayers, continues to violate her rights and pursue yet another baseless case.
‘Shakira is confident that her innocence will be proven by the end of the judicial process.’
The alleged fraud took place around the time Shakira moved to Barcelona to live with partner Gerard Pique, who plays football in the city
Shakira, previously a tax resident in the Bahamas, only registered as a full tax resident in Spain in 2015.
Official residents in Spain pay Spanish taxes on their worldwide income.
People who spent more than 183 days in a given calendar year in Spain are considered Spanish residents for tax purposes.
Tax inspectors spent more than a year checking up on Shakira, even visiting her favourite hairdressers in Barcelona and checking her social media to try to show she spent most of the three years in dispute in Spain.
They concluded 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 along with their criminal complaint alleged the time she spent out of Spain were ‘sporadic absences’ linked to work commitments.
Shakira has denied any wrongdoing.
A date for the trial has not yet been 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 amid unconfirmed reports the footballer had cheated.
The former couple are said to have 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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