Entertainment

Shakira Will Stand Trial Over $15M Spanish Tax Evasion

Shakira, the world-famous Colombian singer known for her 2006 hit “Hips Don’t Lie,” is set to go to trial in Spain after an extensive investigation revealed the singer owes the country 14.5 million euros (equivalent to roughly $14.9 million).

The case specifies that, between 2012 and 2014, Shakira spent more than 200 days of the year in Spain with ex-partner Gerard Piqué and their two children even though the singer claims her property in the Bahamas as her official residence.

Because Shakira has not come to an agreement with the Spanish courts, she has opted instead to take the case to trial and has maintained her innocence throughout the entire process.

Although Shakira decided to reject the plea deal, she was initially faced with the charges in 2018.

However, the singer’s publicist insists the matter has already been handled, and the singer paid 14 million euros to the Spanish government, as well as an additional 3 million in interest, reports The A.V. Club.

Llorente y Cuenca, the PR firm that represents the singer, released a statement this week that labels the charges as “a total violation of her rights.” The statement also said that Shakira, “trusts her innocence and chooses to leave the issue in the hands of the law.” Elsewhere in the statement, the firm claims that Shakira “is fully confident of her innocence and therefore does not accept a settlement.”

According to AP, the prosecution vehemently disagrees. After three years investigating the case, Spanish Judge Marco Juberías wrote that there is “sufficient evidence of criminality” and suggests that Shakira stand trial for her alleged offenses. Shakira refused to admit any wrongdoing when she testified in June 2019.

Additionally, CNN reports that Judge Juberías is convinced that Shakira, in collaboration with her financial adviser, utilized off-shore tax havens to effectively hide her income sources from the Spanish government during the years that she split her time between Spain and the Bahamas.

In another statement released in May, Shakira’s representation said, “Shakira’s conduct on tax matters has always been impeccable in all the countries where she has had to pay taxes, and she has trusted and faithfully followed the recommendations of the best specialists and expert advisors.”

If convicted, Shakira could be facing up to 8 years in prison and heavy fines, including a 24 million euro fine on top of the 17 million euros she is accused of still owing. As of now, no trial date has been set, but both sides of this case are confident in their ability to win.

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