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Cristiano Ronaldo Faces Tax Evasion Charge

Cristiano Ronaldo Faces Tax Evasion Charge Photo credit to ดูบอลย้อนหลัง ไฮไลท์ฟุตบอล via Flickr

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Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo faces tax evasion charge in Spain by Spanish state prosecutor

Madrid, Spain – Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo faces tax evasion charge in Spain by Spanish state prosecutor. According to reports, he is set to face charges for an alleged 14.7 million euros of tax evasion from 2011 to 2014.

The prosecutor’s office in Madrid says it has filed a lawsuit against the Portuguese player.  Additionally, the world’s highest-paid sports star had previously said he was not worried about tax investigations as he had nothing to hide.

“Ronaldo took advantage of a business structure created in 2010 to hide from fiscal authorities income generated in Spain from image rights.”

The statement said Ronaldo used what it deems a shell company in the Virgin Islands to “create a screen in order to hide his total income from Spain’s Tax Office.”

The prosecutor also said that Ronaldo “intentionally” did not declare income of 28.4 million euros. This came from the cession of image rights from 2015-20 to another company located in Spain.

The prosecutor also alleged that the Portuguese falsely reported income as coming from real estate. This is said to had greatly reduced his tax rate.

Ronaldo’s agency, GestiFute, had previously maintained he was up to date on his taxes.

In December last year, GestiFute published details of Ronaldo’s 216 million euros assets in response to allegations of tax evasion.

“The player has been aware of his tax obligations right away from the beginning of his professional career in all of the countries in which he has resided and has not and has never had any issue with the tax authorities of any of those countries,” it said in a statement.

Last month, tax officials said Ronaldo had adjusted his tax declarations and paid an extra €6m in 2014.

Current Status

Ronaldo could face up to 15-months in prison if found guilty. This, of course, unlikely to happen as he is a first-time  non-violent offender. In a similar situation, Barcelona star Lionel Messi was found guilty of tax fraud last year. However, he too, will not see a day in prison.

Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid sportsperson for the second successive year, according to Forbes’ annual list of the world’s wealthiest people.

He earned $93m from salary, bonuses and endorsements last year.

A four-time Ballon d’Or winner, the 32-year-old Ronaldo is Europe’s leading soccer player. He has led Madrid to back-to-back Champions League titles and its first Spanish league in five seasons. He also helped Portugal to win last year’s European Championship.