Shakira strikes deal in tax fraud case - set to receive 3 years suspended sentence and $7.6 million fine

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By stefan armitage

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Shakira has struck a plea deal on the first trial day of her long-standing tax fraud case in Barcelona.

The Colombian singer, famed for hits like 'Hips Don’t Lie' and 'Waka Waka', agreed to accept six counts of tax fraud, avoiding the risk of a prison sentence, TMZ reports.

The 46-year-old star confirmed to presiding magistrate José Manuel del Amo that she acknowledged failing to pay the Spanish government 14.5 million euros (about $15.8 million) in taxes from 2012 to 2014. Shakira’s acceptance of the deal means she is set to receive a suspended three-year sentence and a fine of half the amount owed - more than 7.3 million euros.

She also accepted another fine of 438,000 euros in order to avoid a three-year prison sentence, the judge announced during the trial's first hearing.

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Shakira leaves the High Court of Justice of Catalonia after attending her trial for tax fraud. Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty

Originally, prosecutors aimed for a heavier sentence of eight years and two months, alongside a 24 million euro fine. However, the trial, anticipated to span weeks with over 100 witnesses, concluded abruptly in just eight minutes following Shakira's acceptance of the plea deal.

In a heartfelt statement, per Associated Press, Shakira expressed her decision to prioritize her family and mental well-being. “I need 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,” she said. The singer, now residing in Miami with her sons Milan and Sasha, emphasized her commitment to putting this challenging chapter behind her.

The case centered on Shakira's residency status during the aforementioned period. Prosecutors argued that despite her official tax residency in the Bahamas, Shakira spent significant time in Spain and thus owed taxes on her global income. Shakira's defense maintained that she led a "nomadic life" during this period, only settling in Spain in 2015.

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The singer is set to receive a 3-year suspended sentence as part of the plea deal. Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty

Shakira’s appearance at the courthouse was brief but noteworthy, as she was seen waving to bystanders before the session. Defense lawyer Miriam Company acknowledged the difficulty of the decision, stating: “Her legal team had prepared the trial and were convinced we could demonstrate her innocence, but the circumstances changed and [Shakira] opted to accept the deal.”

This legal battle comes after Shakira's name surfaced in the 2021 "Paradise Papers" leaks, exposing the offshore tax arrangements of numerous high-profile individuals. Despite her previous payments and interest to the Spanish tax office, this deal marks a significant development in her ongoing legal troubles.

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Shakira recently thanked her fans for standing by her. Credit: Patricia J. Garcinuno / Getty

Shakira's tax woes aren't over yet, as she faces another charge for allegedly evading 6.7 million euros in tax on her 2018 income. This follows a trend in Spain of targeting high-profile figures for tax evasion, including soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who also avoided prison time.

The artist recently expressed gratitude to her Spanish fans for their unwavering support, highlighting the complexity of her public and personal life - thanking her fans at the Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday for being with her "in the good times and the bad".

Featured image credit: Europa Press Entertainment / Getty

Shakira strikes deal in tax fraud case - set to receive 3 years suspended sentence and $7.6 million fine

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Shakira has struck a plea deal on the first trial day of her long-standing tax fraud case in Barcelona.

The Colombian singer, famed for hits like 'Hips Don’t Lie' and 'Waka Waka', agreed to accept six counts of tax fraud, avoiding the risk of a prison sentence, TMZ reports.

The 46-year-old star confirmed to presiding magistrate José Manuel del Amo that she acknowledged failing to pay the Spanish government 14.5 million euros (about $15.8 million) in taxes from 2012 to 2014. Shakira’s acceptance of the deal means she is set to receive a suspended three-year sentence and a fine of half the amount owed - more than 7.3 million euros.

She also accepted another fine of 438,000 euros in order to avoid a three-year prison sentence, the judge announced during the trial's first hearing.

size-full wp-image-1263237485
Shakira leaves the High Court of Justice of Catalonia after attending her trial for tax fraud. Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty

Originally, prosecutors aimed for a heavier sentence of eight years and two months, alongside a 24 million euro fine. However, the trial, anticipated to span weeks with over 100 witnesses, concluded abruptly in just eight minutes following Shakira's acceptance of the plea deal.

In a heartfelt statement, per Associated Press, Shakira expressed her decision to prioritize her family and mental well-being. “I need 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,” she said. The singer, now residing in Miami with her sons Milan and Sasha, emphasized her commitment to putting this challenging chapter behind her.

The case centered on Shakira's residency status during the aforementioned period. Prosecutors argued that despite her official tax residency in the Bahamas, Shakira spent significant time in Spain and thus owed taxes on her global income. Shakira's defense maintained that she led a "nomadic life" during this period, only settling in Spain in 2015.

size-full wp-image-1263237486
The singer is set to receive a 3-year suspended sentence as part of the plea deal. Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty

Shakira’s appearance at the courthouse was brief but noteworthy, as she was seen waving to bystanders before the session. Defense lawyer Miriam Company acknowledged the difficulty of the decision, stating: “Her legal team had prepared the trial and were convinced we could demonstrate her innocence, but the circumstances changed and [Shakira] opted to accept the deal.”

This legal battle comes after Shakira's name surfaced in the 2021 "Paradise Papers" leaks, exposing the offshore tax arrangements of numerous high-profile individuals. Despite her previous payments and interest to the Spanish tax office, this deal marks a significant development in her ongoing legal troubles.

size-full wp-image-1263237484
Shakira recently thanked her fans for standing by her. Credit: Patricia J. Garcinuno / Getty

Shakira's tax woes aren't over yet, as she faces another charge for allegedly evading 6.7 million euros in tax on her 2018 income. This follows a trend in Spain of targeting high-profile figures for tax evasion, including soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who also avoided prison time.

The artist recently expressed gratitude to her Spanish fans for their unwavering support, highlighting the complexity of her public and personal life - thanking her fans at the Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday for being with her "in the good times and the bad".

Featured image credit: Europa Press Entertainment / Getty