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Shakira Settles $16M Tax Fraud Case With Spain, Ordered to Pay $7.6M Fine but Will Avoid Prison Time

shakira settles m tax fraud case spain fine avoid prison time
Source: MEGA

Shakira faced a possible 8-year prison sentence and a three-week trial related to her Spanish tax bills between 2012 and 2014.

Nov. 20 2023, Published 10:15 a.m. ET

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Shakira reached a surprising settlement with Spanish authorities on the first day of her nearly $16 million tax fraud trial this week, RadarOnline.com can report.

In a sudden development to come almost five years after Spanish prosecutors accused Shakira of tax evasion in December 2018, the 46-year-old Queen of Latin Music accepted a plea deal on Monday in Barcelona.

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shakira settles m tax fraud case spain fine avoid prison time
Source: MEGA

The 46-year-old Queen of Latin Music accepted a plea deal on Monday in Barcelona.

Shakira was initially charged with six counts of failing to pay the Spanish government approximately $15.8 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014.

Under the terms of the agreement, Shakira will receive a suspended three-year sentence and a fine of $7.6 million.

The trial, which kicked off this week and was expected to last for several weeks and involve over 100 witnesses, was called off after just eight minutes on Monday morning.

Spanish prosecutors originally sought a prison sentence of eight years and two months, as well as a fine of $26 million, against the pop singer.

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shakira settles m tax fraud case spain fine avoid prison time
Source: MEGA

Shakira was initially charged with six counts of failing to pay the Spanish government approximately $15.8 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014.

The case revolved around the question of Shakira's residency during 2012 and 2014.

Prosecutors in Barcelona argued that the Colombian singer spent over half of that time in Spain and therefore should have paid taxes on her worldwide income in the country despite her official residence being in the Bahamas.

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Shakira's defense lawyer, Miriam Company, explained the reasoning behind the surprising decision to accept the plea deal on Monday morning.

"This has been a difficult decision that took time to reach, a tough decision that is motivated by her desire to focus on raising her children and her professional career,” Shakira’s lawyer said in a statement.

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shakira settles m tax fraud case spain fine avoid prison time
Source: MEGA

Shakira will receive a suspended three-year sentence and a fine of $7.6 million.

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“Her legal team had prepared for the trial and were convinced they could demonstrate her innocence, but the circumstances changed, and Shakira opted to accept the deal,” Company added.

Monday's trial marked a surprising turning point in Shakira's legal battle.

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Shakira previously rejected a deal offered by prosecutors in July 2022. She said that she “believes in her innocence” at the time and “chooses to leave the issue in the hands of the law.”

As RadarOnline.com previously reported, the 46-year-old superstar singer first made headlines in connection to tax evasion in the 2017 "Paradise Papers" leak which exposed the offshore tax arrangements of several high-profile individuals.

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shakira settles m tax fraud case spain fine avoid prison time
Source: MEGA

Spanish state prosecutors also recently charged Shakira with the alleged evasion of more than $7 million in taxes on her 2018 income.

At that time, Shakira’s public relations firm claimed she had already paid all her owed taxes – along with an additional $3.2 million in interest.

Shakira’s defense team argued that the pop star had not spent more than 60 days a year in Spain during the period in question and contended that she would have needed to spend at least half the year in the country to be considered a fiscal resident.

Shakira’s team cited her international touring commitments and her participation as a jury member on the NBC television music talent show The Voice as evidence of her absence from Spain.

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Spanish prosecutors disagreed and the investigating judge determined there was enough evidence to proceed with a trial.

Meanwhile, in a separate investigation launched in September, Spanish state prosecutors charged Shakira with the alleged evasion of more than $7 million in taxes on her 2018 income.

They accused her of using an offshore company based in a tax haven to avoid paying the taxes. That case is still ongoing.

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