Shakira (pictured in Mexico this week) faces up to eight years in prison in Spain for allegedly evading £12 million in tax between 2012 and 2014
A Spanish judge has told pop star Shakira she will face charges of tax fraud amounting to €14.5 million.
The 45-year-old, whose split with Barcelona football star Gerard Pique made headlines earlier this year, was first warned in July that she could face up to eight years in prison after being charged with six counts of tax fraud.
But today it emerged that an investigating magistrate judge at Esplugues de Llobregat near Barcelona has formally ordered the singer to stand trial, in a ruling that ends his long-running criminal investigation and puts the Colombian pop star in court.
The decision follows the mother of two’s confirmation that she had rejected an out-of-court deal believed to have admitted her wrongdoing after she was accused of defrauding Spain’s treasury over a three-year period between 2012 and 2014 .
She has already paid the six-figure sum she has been defrauded by the Spanish tax authorities, along with interest estimated to total €3 million (£2.67 million).
But prosecutors want Shakira to face eight years in prison if found guilty, as charged at the trial.
A date for the trial has not yet been set, but is expected to take place in the coming months.
Colombian singer Shakira poses at the 75th Cannes Film Festival – screening of the film “Elvis” out of competition – Cannes, France, 25 May 2022
The charges were filed earlier this year in the court of Instruction Number Two of Esplugues de Llobregat, which has been investigating the singer.
Shakira – full name Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll – is accused of pretending to live abroad and using an existing complex offshore corporate structure to evade her tax liabilities from 2012 to 2014, despite the fact that she began a relationship with former Man United defender Pique and moved to Barcelona.
Formerly a tax resident of the Bahamas, the artist only registered as a full tax resident in Spain in 2015.
Official residents of Spain pay Spanish tax on their worldwide income.
People who have spent more than 183 days in Spain in any given calendar year are considered Spanish residents for tax purposes.
Tax inspectors spent more than a year checking on Shakira, even visiting her favorite hair salon in Barcelona and checking her social media to try and show that she had been in dispute for most of the three years in Spain.
They concluded that she spent 242 days in Spain in 2012, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in the country in 2014.
The report filed by the prosecutors along with their criminal complaint alleged that the time she spent outside of Spain was “sporadic absences” related to work commitments.
Shakira has denied all allegations.
Her PR agency Llorente y Cuenca, meanwhile, said in a statement after she was formally charged: “She believes in her innocence and has chosen to leave the matter in the hands of the law.”
The alleged fraud took place around the time Shakira moved to Barcelona to live with partner Gerard Pique, who plays football in the city
The singer broke her silence following her split from footballer Gerard Pique in a recent interview with Elle magazine, saying music is her ‘therapy’ during her ‘darkest hours’
The singer and Gerard Pique announced they split in May after 11 years together amid unconfirmed reports that the footballer had cheated on the Colombian.
He now has a new girlfriend – a 23-year-old Shakira lookalike named Clara Chia.
The former couple is said to have been negotiating the future of their two children in recent months because Shakira wants to move to Miami with them.
The singer broke her silence following their breakup in a recent interview with Elle magazine, saying music is her “therapy” during her “darkest hours.”
When asked how she’s coped with not being “together” with Pique, who she met in 2010, she said: “I think those details are somehow too private to share, at least right now. – everything is so raw and new.
“All I can say is that I put everything I had into this relationship and into my family.”
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