Shakira To Stand Trial Over Tax Fraud, Facing $26 Million Fine & Jail Time

Shakira’s legal troubles are far from over, as the singer has now been ordered to stand trial in Spain for tax fraud and evasion.

According to PEOPLE, a date for the trial hasn’t been set. But Shakira could be facing serious penalties if found guilty, including up to 8 years in jail and a €20 million fine ($26 million USD).

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Shakira was first charged with tax evasion and fraud in December 2018. She allegedly failed to pay the Spanish government €14.5 million ($14 million USD) in taxes between 2012 to 2014.

At the time, she allegedly listed the Bahamas as her official residence for tax purposes. But Spanish prosecutors claims she spent the majority of time in Spain with her then-partner Gerard Pique and their two sons.

According to Spanish laws, anyone residing in the country for six months or more per year is considered a resident and must pay taxes.

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In the years following, Shakira has denied any wrongdoing. Her team says she paid what she owed as soon as she was notified of the debt. Shakira also says it’s false that she spent most of her time in Spain between 2012 to 2014.

“I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them,” she told Elle this month.

“It is well known that the Spanish tax authorities do this often not only with celebrities like me (or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar, [Xabi] Alonso, and many more),” she said. “It also happens unjustly to the regular taxpayer. It’s just their style.”

Shakira added, “But I’m confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favor.”

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Shakira previously tried to appeal the charges, but the court denied her request in May, instead recommending a trial. Prosecutors reportedly presented her with a plea deal, which she recently declined, thus why a trial has now been approved.

Spanish prosecutors don’t believe that Shakira’s tax slip-up was a mistake, but rather a crime. Spanish Judge Marco Juberias – who approved the case to go to trial – says there’s “sufficient evidence of criminality” to press charges.

In addition to the looming trial, Shakira is also going through a separation. She announced in June that she and her long-time partner were separating following more than a decade together. The couple were never legally married.

Sources: PEOPLE, USA Today, Elle,

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