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Shakira reaches deal with tax authorities to avoid $15 million tax fraud trial

She also accepted another fine of 438,000 euros to avoid a three-year prison sentence, the judge said during the trial's first hearing.
Last Updated : 20 November 2023, 10:27 IST
Last Updated : 20 November 2023, 10:27 IST

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Barcelona: Colombian pop star Shakira on Monday reached a settlement with prosecutors to avoid a trial in Barcelona over charges she failed to pay 14.5 million euros ($15.7 million) in Spanish income tax between 2012 and 2014.

As part of the deal, she accepted the charges and a fine of 50 per cent of the amount owed, more than 7.3 million euros.

She also accepted another fine of 438,000 euros to avoid a three-year prison sentence, the judge said during the trial's first hearing.

"Do you recognise the facts and conform with the new penalties that have been requested?" asked Judge Jose Manuel del Amo Sanchez. "Yes," Shakira responded.

Wearing a pink suit, matched with a pink handbag and sunglasses, she arrived minutes before 10 a.m. (0900 GMT) accompanied by her lawyers, amid a media frenzy. On Thursday night Shakira won two Latin Grammy awards in Seville.

Previously, the 'Hips Don't Lie' singer, who also has a second tax fraud investigation pending with Spanish authorities, had vowed to fight what she called false accusations.

The prosecutor's office was seeking an up to eight-year prison term and to claim back the taxes it says she owes.

It alleged that Shakira spent more than half of each of the years in question in Spain and was therefore ordinarily resident in the country. It also said that a Barcelona property she bought in May 2012 served as a family home.

Shakira, 46, lived with former Barcelona and Spain soccer star Gerard Pique for 11 years and the couple have two children. The singer, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, moved to Miami after their separation.

Spanish authorities have pursued other major celebrities over tax evasion including soccer players such as Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazilian-Spanish player Diego Costa. All settled and paid large fines.

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso refused to settle and eventually won a trial against the tax agency. Spain's Supreme Court last month upheld his acquittal.

($1 = 0.9211 euros)

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Published 20 November 2023, 10:27 IST

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