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Shakira fined $7.6 million as she settles Spanish tax fraud case

Photo by Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic

Shakira has settled her tax fraud case with Spanish prosecutors on the same day her trial was due to begin. The singer, who denied any wrongdoing, has paid a €7 million ($7.6 million) fine.

She had faced tax fraud allegations for €14.5 million ($15.8 million), relating to the period between 2012 and 2014, in a Barcelona court. She could have been sentenced to eight years in prison and a €23 million fine if convicted.

Shakira said she settled “with the best interest of my kids at heart,” adding that her children “do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight.”

Prosecutors in the Barcelona case alleged that Shakira, whose residence between 2012 and 2014 was listed in the Bahamas, spent more than 183 days in Spain, which would qualify her for the country’s tax laws. Shakira denied the charges and initially rejected a deal offered by prosecutors, instead opting to go to trial.

In her statement on Monday, Shakira said: “Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what’s right and set a positive example for others. Unfortunately, and despite these efforts, tax authorities in Spain pursued a case against me as they have against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, draining those people’s energy, time, and tranquillity for years at a time.

“While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favour, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight.”

She added she needed to “move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love – my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career.”

In September Shakira was hit with a separate second count of tax evasion in Spain. The country’s prosecutors allege that the singer did not pay the money she owed on her 2018 income and used an offshore company in a tax haven to conceal her earnings.