A Barcelona court has ordered Colombian music superstar Shakira to stand trial for six counts of alleged tax fraud in the amount of 14.5M million euros ($13.9 million), according to the BBC and local reports. This past summer, it was reported that the Grammy winner was potentially facing an eight-year prison sentence and a fine of 23.8 million euros ($22.7 million) if found guilty. She has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
Prosecutors allege six tax crimes during a period from 2012 to 2014 when they claim Shakira was living in Spain but listing her main residence elsewhere. Under Spanish law, people who spend more than six months per year in the country are considered residents for tax purposes. The Court of Instruction Number 2 of Esplugues de Llobregat has agreed to open a trial, whose date has not been set, though El Mundo suggests it will be “in the coming months.”
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The star and executive producer of NBC’s Dancing With Myself reality competition has said she was not primarily residing in Spain during the period in question and earlier this month told Spanish Elle, “I am confident that I have enough evidence to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favor.”
In July, the prosecutor’s office alleged Shakira was “ordinarily resident in Spain between 2012 and 2014 and in May 2012 bought a house in Barcelona.” That home, officials contend, was for not just the singer, but then partner Gerard Piqué, who plays for FC Barcelona, and their son, who was born in Spain in 2013. The duo have since separated. In 2015, Shakira declared Spain to be her place of residence for tax purposes and has said she paid 17.2 million euros ($16.4 million) in taxes and has no outstanding debts, per the BBC.
She further told Elle, “The tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and began to salivate. It is clear that they wanted to go after that money no matter what.” It has been reported that she previously rejected a settlement offer from prosecutors.
According to El Mundo, Shakira’s entourage responded to the most recent developments saying her lawyers will “do their job by delivering her arguments at the right time, which is with the defense brief.”
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