The famous singer agreed to pay a £7 million fine to avoid going to jail for tax fraud allegations.
Columbian pop singer Shakira, 46, was recently summoned to a courthouse in Barcelona as she faced spending eight years in prison for allegedly defrauding Spanish tax officials of just about £12.7million.
Those Are Some Big Numbers!
The singer and former coach on The Voice was required to appear in a Barcelona courthouse where she was facing an eight-year prison sentence over allegations of defrauding Spanish tax officials of around £12.7 million. The singer faced six counts of failing to pay the amount in taxes between 2012 and 2014. With interest, the amount is actually reported to be nearly £15million.
Shakira will also be subjected to pay a fine of about £378,000 to avoid prison time.
According to a statement from her representatives, Shakira’s legal team expressed confidence in winning the case. However, she chose to settle for the well-being of her children.
“Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what’s right and set a positive example for others,” the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer said.
“While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favour, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight.
“I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love – my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career, including my upcoming world tour and my new album, both of which I am extremely excited about.
“I admire tremendously those who have fought these injustices to the end, but for me, today, winning is getting my time back for my kids and my career.”
The mother of two went on to explain that her children heavily influenced her decision.
“I have to choose my battles and the most important thing for me right now is that my children live a full life and I focus on what is really important: watching them grow and spending time with them, without submitting them to the anguish of seeing their mother in a court trial with the damage that causes.
“They themselves asked me to do this and I’ve taken this decision for them.
“They have gone through some difficult times and I want them to see me happy finally and be able to look together to the future.”
Shakira also stated that this battle to redeem herself has caused her extreme stress and has ultimately wasted a significant amount of time and resources.
“I felt ready to face a trial and defend my innocence.
“My lawyers were convinced we had a winning case.
“However I have taken this decision after a fight lasting many years.
“I had two options, to continue to the end, mortgaging my happiness and that of my children, stopping making songs and albums and touring, being unable to enjoy my career and the things I love, or make a pact and close and leave behind this chapter in my life looking forward.
“I’ve reached the conclusion that it’s not a triumph winning if the price you have to pay is that they steal so many years of your life.”
Shakira Heads To Court
The “La La La” singer was pictured early this morning walking confidently into the Barcelona Provincial Court in a pink suit and matching designer purse. Her lawyer, Pau Molins, by her side.
Judge Jose Manuel del Amo asked Shakira to take the stand after the lawyers involved in the case declared that a deal had been made in open court.
“Do you accept the charges against you and the new replacement penalties you are facing,” Judge Mauel asked.
“I do,” Shakira replied.
At first the judge reiterated that in light of the settlement, he was giving Shakira a three-year prison sentence (six months for each of the six counts of tax fraud she had admitted to. Then he suggested Shakira pay a fine instead.
In a pre-trial indictment, Spanish state prosecutors revealed their pursuit of an eight-year, two-month prison sentence for Shakira and a fine close to £21 million. This would have been imposed if judges found her guilty of the six counts of tax fraud allegedly committed in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
The trial is set to unfold over 12 sessions on non-consecutive days at Barcelona’s Provincial Court, concluding on December 14. Spanish state prosecutors have outlined the foundation of their case against Shakira in a 15-page indictment submitted to an investigating magistrate.
In the official document, they allege that the artist, whose real name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, resided in Spain “on a regular basis” throughout the tax years 2012 to 2014. According to Spain’s tax rules, individuals spending more than 183 days in a calendar year in the country are regarded as Spanish residents for tax purposes and are required to declare their global income.
State prosecutors claim Shakira, “knowing she lived on a regular basis in Spain and remained in the country most of the year” decided to use an existing offshore corporate framework to hide her worldwide earnings so she could evade income and wealth tax payments.
Back in November of last year, a statement released by Shakira’s Barcelona-based publicists LLYC said, “Shakira is a taxpayer who has always shown impeccable tax conduct and has never had tax problems in any other jurisdiction.
“The singer relied on top advisors such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
“She never exceeded the 183 days of presence in Spain required to be a tax resident.
“With no solid evidence to support the charges against her, she has been fiercely persecuted in the criminal and media spheres using unacceptable methods to damage her reputation and force her to come to a settlement agreement.”
Shakira has since been adamant that she is being “persecuted” and accused the Spanish Treasury of using “unacceptable methods to damage her reputation and force her to come to a settlement agreement.”
So while things are starting to look up for the “Beautiful Liar” singer, she’s not out of the woods yet.