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Will Shakira Go To Jail? Singer Chooses Trial Over Settlement in Tax Fraud Case

Columbian singer Shakira opted for trial on July 27 by the Spanish prosecutors over allegations she defrauded Spain’s government of nearly €15 million in taxes. According to her lawyers, the 45-year-old Colombian rejected a plea deal offered by the Spanish authorities and wants to prove her innocence in court.

On Friday (July 29), prosecutors in Spain stated that they would ask the court to sentence Shakira to eight years and two months in jail if convicted. However, she hasn’t been sent to the trial officially. Fans are wondering whether or not, she would go to prison, and if yes, what will be the prison time. Read on to learn all about it.

Will Shakira Go To Prison?

Shakira is facing tax fraud charges and possible prison time in Spain. Prosecutors in Spain on Friday (July 29) said they would ask a court to sentence the singer to eight years and two months in jail if she’s convicted.

Prosecutors are asking that she face charges with a sentence of eight years and two months in jail. Prosecutors are also seeking a fine of about $24 million, along with jail time. However, it is difficult to say whether she would go to prison or not, but yes, if found guilty, there are chances that she may have to serve jail time.

The Tax Fraud Case Explained…

A few days back, Shakira rejected a settlement deal and decided to go to trial, all while maintaining her innocence. According to prosecutors, Shakira (full name: Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll) failed to pay the Spanish government about $15 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014.

The legal case revolves around the pop star’s residence as prosecutors alleged that she lived mostly in Spain despite having an official residence in the Bahamas. The court ruled previously that “she is a habitual resident” in Spain.

In 2018, Spanish prosecutors charged the pop sensation with failing to pay €14.5 million in taxes on income she earned between 2012 and 2014. In 2017, Shakira was named in the Paradise Papers wherein it was revealed that she was the sole shareholder of a Malta-based company which was being used to transfer $30 million in music rights.

Her attorneys insisted that her use of the company was entirely legal. However, an investigation into her finances revealed that she did not pay taxes in Spain between 2012 and 2014 while she was living there with Piqué and their family.

In May, the Spanish Court dismissed Shakira’s appeal in the said case, paving way for a trial after a judge concluded there was “enough evidence to suggest the pop star may have avoided her fiscal obligations to the state.”

The court upheld a July ruling wherein Spanish Judge Marco Juberías wrote that his three-year probe ruled that there existed “sufficient evidence of criminality” for the case to go to trial. Despite this, Shakira opted for a trial while maintaining her innocence.

Understanding Tax Fraud

According to the Internal Revenue Service, tax fraud happens when a person or business doesn’t comply with tax laws. That can include:

  • Filing false exemptions or deductions
  • Getting kickbacks
  • Presenting a false or altered document
  • Failing to pay taxes
  • Having unreported income
  • Being a part of organized crime
  • Failing to withhold taxes
  • Failing to follow the tax laws

As for the trial, no date has been set and Shakira hasn’t formally been sent to trial yet. Shakira “trusts her innocence and chooses to leave the issue in the hands of the law,” the PR firm Llorente y Cuenca said in a statement. Keep reading for more updates on this case.

Mallika
I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.
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