Cristiano Ronaldo fined $3.7m in tax evasion case The footballer

(Aljazeerah.com)

The footballer will also be sentenced to 24 months in prison, a sentence he is unlikely to serve.

Star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo will pay a 3.2 million euro ($3.7m) fine after settling a tax evasion case with Spanish authorities.

Ronaldo, 33, will also be sentenced to 24 months in prison as part of the deal, officials said on Friday, though he is unlikely to serve the jail term as Spanish law states that a sentence of under two years for a first offence can be served on probation.

The Portuguese forward, formerly of Spanish superclub Real Madrid, was accused last year of defrauding authorities of 14.7m euros ($16.5m) in unpaid taxes between 2011 and 2014 via shell companies based in the British Virgin Islands and Ireland, known for their low corporate tax rates.

In addition, prosecutors allege Ronaldo declared only 11.5 million euros ($13.6m) of Spanish-related income from 2011 to 2014, during which time his actual earnings were close to 43 million euros ($50.8m).

They also accuse him of “voluntarily” refusing to include 28.4 million euro ($33.6m) in income linked to the sale of his image rights for the 2015 to 2020 period to a Spanish company.

Ronaldo, a five-time World Player of the Year, has previously denied the allegations.

Tax evasion

He is one of a number of sporting stars accused of tax evasion by Spanish authorities in recent years.

In 2016, Barcelona favourite Lionel Messi was found guilty of evading nearly $5m of taxes.

Former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and player Angel di Maria were both accused of defrauding Spanish authorities, as was Javier Mascherano, who once played for Barcelona.

Earlier this month, Italian club Juventus announced they had signed Ronaldo from Real Madrid in a deal worth upwards of 110 million euros ($128m).

He will reportedly earn close to 30 million euros ($34m) a year in wages, after taxes.

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