Ronaldo to pay €18.9m to settle tax fraud case

Ronaldo to pay €18.9m  to settle tax fraud case
Cristiano Ronaldo
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/28/2018 2:00:13 AM IST

 Madrid, Jul 27 (Agencies): Former Real Madrid football star Cristiano Ronaldo has come to an agreement with Spain’s finance ministry in a tax fraud case, allowing him to move to his new Italian team, Juventus, without facing trial or a possible jail term.

Under the deal, Ronaldo will pay €18.9m in unpaid taxes, fines and interest, and accept a two-year suspended jail sentence. He was last year accused of not paying €14.8m in taxes owed from 2011-2014 by using a shell company in the British Virgin Islands to hide income earned through his image rights. 

“The accused made use of a corporate structure created in 2010 to hide from the tax authority income generated in Spain through image rights,” prosecutors said in a statement at the time.

A representative of Spain’s justice ministry who worked on the case confirmed on Thursday that the deal between Spain’s tax authority and Ronaldo would see the player land in jail if he were later found to have committed another crime in Spain. The Portugal player, one of the world’s most high-profile sportsmen, will have to appear in Madrid’s provincial court to seal the deal.

Ronaldo is one of a string of leading footballers to have been dragged before Spain’s tax agency accused of using tax havens and other forms of tax evasion. 

In 2016, a Spanish court handed FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi a 21-month suspended jail sentence for using companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes of €4.16m from 2007-2009 on income earned through the sale of image rights. 

Messi’s father was also sentenced in the case. It was widely reported in the Spanish media that the tax fraud case influenced Ronaldo’s decision to move to Juventus. 

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