Football star Ronaldo fined E19m for tax fraud – but avoids prison Football star Ronaldo fined E19m for tax fraud – but avoids prison

Football star Ronaldo fined E19m for tax fraud – but avoids prison
30 Jan 2019

Juventus and Portugal football star Cristiano Ronaldo has been fined almost €19 million (US$21.6 million) by the Spanish courts for tax fraud but avoided a 23-month prison sentence after agreeing a deal.

Ronaldo was denied a request to appear at the hearing via video link and arrived at the courthouse in person, holding hands with his Spanish fiancée, Georgina Rodriguez. He remained inside for around 45 minutes, CNBC reported, before emerging smiling. He left in a black van.

The 33-year-old Juventus forward agreed to settle the case by paying an €18.8 million fine and accepting a suspended jail sentence. Under Spanish law, a first offender can serve anything less than a two-year sentence under probation, which means he will not have to go to prison.

In 2017, Ronaldo also denied the accusation that he knowingly used a business structure to hide income generated by his image rights in Spain between 2011 and 2014. After reaching a deal, he paid a fine of €5.7 million (US$6.5 million) — plus interest of about €1 million (US$1.1 million) — in July 2018, the Prosecutor's Office said last week.

Meanwhile, according to the Straits Times, the trial of Ronaldo's former Real Madrid teammate Xabi Alonso over allegations of tax fraud, which was held at the same time, was suspended. Prosecutors were seeking a five-year jail sentence and fine of €4 million (US$4.5 million) for the Spaniard, who retired as a player in 2017.

Alonso was accused of defrauding the Spanish state of some €2 million (US$2.3 million) between 2010 and 2012. He denied committing a crime and said he would wait while the magistrates evaluated his case.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC

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Juventus and Portugal football star Cristiano Ronaldo has been fined almost €19 million (US$21.6 million) by the Spanish courts for tax fraud but avoided a 23-month prison sentence after agreeing a deal.

Ronaldo was denied a request to appear at the hearing via video link and arrived at the courthouse in person, holding hands with his Spanish fiancée, Georgina Rodriguez. He remained inside for around 45 minutes, CNBC reported, before emerging smiling. He left in a black van.

The 33-year-old Juventus forward agreed to settle the case by paying an €18.8 million fine and accepting a suspended jail sentence. Under Spanish law, a first offender can serve anything less than a two-year sentence under probation, which means he will not have to go to prison.

In 2017, Ronaldo also denied the accusation that he knowingly used a business structure to hide income generated by his image rights in Spain between 2011 and 2014. After reaching a deal, he paid a fine of €5.7 million (US$6.5 million) — plus interest of about €1 million (US$1.1 million) — in July 2018, the Prosecutor's Office said last week.

Meanwhile, according to the Straits Times, the trial of Ronaldo's former Real Madrid teammate Xabi Alonso over allegations of tax fraud, which was held at the same time, was suspended. Prosecutors were seeking a five-year jail sentence and fine of €4 million (US$4.5 million) for the Spaniard, who retired as a player in 2017.

Alonso was accused of defrauding the Spanish state of some €2 million (US$2.3 million) between 2010 and 2012. He denied committing a crime and said he would wait while the magistrates evaluated his case.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC

OTHER STORIES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Spain rejects Cristiano Ronaldo's tax settlement offer

Manchester United boss to pay £1.78 million to settle Spanish tax evasion case

Real Madrid's Ronaldo agrees to pay €18.8 million to taxman

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