Shakira Facing Possible 8-Year Prison Term in Spanish Tax Fraud Case

Shakira’s Spanish tax fraud lawsuit is heating up. Prosecutors in Spain are demanding an eight-year and two-month jail sentence, as well as a fine of almost $25 million, if the 45-year-old singer is convicted in her next tax fraud trial, according to the Associated Press.

According to the publication, the six-count indictment accuses the singer of neglecting to pay the Spanish government around $15 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014. Though Shakira identified the Bahamas as her official residence during those years, prosecutors claim she spent more than half of that time in Spain and should have paid taxes there, according to the Associated Press.

On Friday, Shakira’s PR firm, Llorente y Cuenca, told the outlet that the singer “has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer.” 

The announcement comes only a week after Shakira’s publicist informed AP that the singer had rejected aplea agreement and will instead go to trial. [Shakira] trusts her innocence and chooses to leave the issue in the hands of the law,” the PR firm said.

Shakira Splits With Pique

Shakira, whose real name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, divorced Barcelona’s Pique earlier this year. Pique was recently recorded seemingly listening to Shakira in his car, only a month after the pair split due to cheating claims. The duo initially met while filming her music video for the World Cup song Waka Waka in 2010. They began dating a year later, just after Spain’s World Cup victory in South Africa.

The former couple is claimed to have spent the previous several weeks negotiating the future of their two children due to Shakira’s desire to relocate to Miami with them. Shakira was formerly a Bahamas tax resident and only became a full tax resident of Spain in 2015.

All official residents in Spain are required to pay Spanish taxes on any income earned abroad. Furthermore, anyone who spend more than 183 days in Spain in a calendar year are considered Spanish residents for tax reasons.

Tax inspectors spent more than a year following up on Shakira, including visiting her favourite hairdressers in Barcelona and scouring her social media for evidence that she spent the majority of the three years in question in Spain.

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