Barcelona, Spain, Nov 20 (EFE).-
Pop sensation Shakira has agreed to pay a fine of more than $8.5 million to avoid going to jail over allegations of evading $15.8 million in taxes on income earned in Spain between 2012 and 2014.
In a last-minute agreement with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Colombian singer, facing an initial demand of eight years and two months in prison, will receive a three-year suspended sentence by paying a 7.3 million euro fine.
The agreement also meant a significant reduction from the proposed 23.7 million euros in fines — half of the defrauded amount.
Shakira faced prison on six counts of evading taxes in Spain between 2012 and 2014.
The 46-year-old singer had already paid 14.5 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities, plus a further three million in interest. However, she faced a criminal trial for committing alleged fraud.
In May, the court rejected an appeal by her defense, citing sufficient evidence of fraud to proceed with the criminal prosecution.
Prosecutors claim that she deliberated evaded income and corporate tax payments from 2012 to 2014 by declaring residency outside Spain and utilizing a network of companies based in tax havens.
Having lived in Spain with former Barcelona and Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique for 11 years, Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, moved to Miami after their separation. The couple have two children.
By agreeing to the fine, the singer has avoided the trial initially scheduled to commence on Monday in the Audiencia de Barcelona, expected to span approximately 12 sessions to determine her alleged tax evasion and fraud between 2012 and 2014. EFE