Shakira faces trial in Spain for ‘£12m tax scam’

Shakira faces trial in Spain for ‘£12m tax scam’

Shakira (seen last week in Mexico) faces up to eight years in prison in Spain for allegedly evading £12 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014.

A judge in Spain has informed Shakira that she will stand trial for an alleged €14.5 million (£12.9 million) tax fraud.

The 45-year-old, whose breakup with Barcelona football player Gerard Pique made headlines earlier this year, was warned in July that she may face up to eight years in prison on six offences of tax fraud.

However, it was revealed today that a judge at an investigative court in Esplugues de Llobregat near Barcelona has officially ordered the singer to stand trial, bringing to a close his lengthy criminal investigation and requiring the Colombian pop sensation to take the stand.

Colombian singer Shakira poses at the 75th Cannes Film Festival - Screening of the film "Elvis" Out of Competition - Cannes, France, May 25, 2022

The decision comes after the mother-of-two confirmed she had rejected an out-of-court bargain reported to have involved her admitting to wrongdoing after she was accused with cheating the Spanish treasury between 2012 and 2014.

She has already paid the six-figure sum the Spanish taxman alleges she cheated, as well as the estimated €3 million (£2.67 million) in interest.

The alleged fraud took place around the time Shakira moved to Barcelona to live with partner Gerard Pique, who plays football in the city

However, state prosecutors want Shakira to serve eight years in prison if she is found guilty of the charges.

The trial has not yet been scheduled, but it is expected to occur in the coming months.

Shakira poses at the screening of “Elvis” outside of competition at the 75th Cannes Film Festival on May 25, 2022.

The accusation was brought earlier this year to the Court of Instruction Number Two in Esplugues de Llobregat, which has been investigating the singer.

The singer broke her silence after her split with footballer Gerard Pique in a recent interview with Elle magazine, saying music is like her 'therapy' during her 'darkest hours'

Shakira – full name Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll – is accused of pretending to reside abroad and utilizing an existing complex offshore corporate structure to avoid meeting her tax obligations between 2012 and 2014, despite beginning a relationship with former Manchester United defender Pique in 2011 and moving to Barcelona.

The artist, who was formerly a tax resident of the Bahamas, did not register as a tax resident of Spain until 2015.

Residents of Spain are required to pay taxes on their international income.

For tax reasons, those who spend more than 183 days in Spain in a given calendar year are considered Spanish residents.

Tax investigators spent more than a year investigating Shakira, visiting her favorite hair shop in Barcelona and scouring her social media to prove she spent the most of the disputed three years in Spain.

They determined that she stayed in Spain for 242 days in 2012, 212 days in 2013, and 243 days in 2014.

According to the report prosecutors provided with their criminal complaint, the time she spent outside of Spain was “sporadic absences” due to business obligations.

Shakira denies doing any misconduct.

Her public relations agency Llorente y Cuenca released the following statement after she was formally charged: ‘She believes in her innocence and has decided to put the matter in the hands of the legal system.’

The alleged scam occurred around the time Shakira relocated to Barcelona to live with her footballer boyfriend, Gerard Pique.

In a recent interview with Elle magazine, the singer revealed that music is her ‘therapy’ during her ‘darkest hours’ following her separation from football player Gerard Pique.

After 11 years together, the singer and footballer Gerard Pique announced their split in May, amid unverified claims that the footballer had cheated on the Colombian.

He now has a new girlfriend, a 23-year-old Clara Chia who resembles Shakira.

According to reports, the former couple has spent the previous few months negotiating the future of their two children, as Shakira desires to relocate to Miami with them.

In a recent interview with Elle magazine, the singer described music as her ‘therapy’ during her ‘darkest hours’ after their breakup.

When asked how she has dealt with not being ‘together’ with Pique, whom she met in 2010, she responded, ‘At the moment, such aspects are too private to mention; everything is so raw and new.’

I can only say that I have invested my entire life in this relationship and my family.

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