Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Cristiano Ronaldo formally accused of €14million tax fraud


The Public Prosecutor's Office in Madrid on Tuesday accused Real Madrid football star Cristiano Ronaldo of tax fraud totalling 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million).

Now Real Madrid, who according to El Confidencial rang newspapers to ensure that Ronaldo was not pictured in a Los Blancos shirt for splashes over the allegations, have released a statement.

It adds it is convinced Ronaldo "will demonstrate his complete innocence".

The Madrid prosecutor said in his 2014 tax return Ronaldo claimed to have recorded revenue from Spanish sources between 2011 and 2013 of 11.5 million euros, though in reality that number was nearly 43 million euros.

Ronaldo has also told journalists he has nothing to hide.

The statement said the Portuguese became a Spanish tax resident in January 2010 and, in November 2011, opted to follow the Spanish tax regime that applies to foreigners working in the country.

After receiving a report from Spain's tax agency AEAT, which recommended a five-year jail sentence, prosecutors are accusing the former Manchester United forward of using shell companies in the British Virgin Islands and Ireland to "screen" his earnings from authorities. Last month, tax officials said he adjusted his tax declarations and paid an extra €6m in 2014.

"There is no offshore structure for evading taxes ..."

Ronaldo, just like Lionel Messi was accused by Spanish tax authorities of tax fraud (€14 million) and will likely appear in court soon. That is because, under Spanish law, first-time offenders do not have to spend time in prison if the term is for two years or less.

Ronaldo, 32, a four-time Ballon d'Or victor, is not the first high-profile footballer to find himself the target of legal action by the Spanish tax authorities. The 4-time Ballon d'Or winner's Real Madrid side won the La Liga title and Champions League at the tail end of May, which likely cemented his case for a fifth Ballon d'Or.

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