Allegedly evaded £13.1m in tax
Cristiano Ronaldo has appeared in court in Spain to face allegations that he evaded £13.1m in tax.
Ronaldo who is reportedly the world’s highest paid athlete and currently plays for football team Real Madrid appeared in court today accused of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14, all of which he denies.
Last month prosecutors said Ronaldo allegedly took “advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities”, which was a “voluntary and conscious breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain.”
They allege that the footballer declared €11.5m of his earnings in 2011-14 in his tax return in 2014 but his real income for that period was almost €43m.
Ronaldo spent an hour and a half giving evidence in the court in a suburb of Madrid and dodge the 40 TV crews and over 100 journalists outside the court by arriving and leaving via an underground garage.
If the case is sent to trial and he is found guilty he could face a fine of “at least €28m” and a prison sentence of three-and-a-half years, the Gestha union of experts at Spain’s Inland Revenue says.
The session was closed to the public and the case continues.