OAN’s James Meyers
10:55 AM – Monday, November 20, 2023
Singer and performer Shakira has come to an agreement with Spanish authorities on the first day of her tax fraud trial.
In a Barcelona courtroom on Thursday, Shakira told the presiding magistrate, Jose Manuel del Amo, that she accepted the agreement reached with prosecutors, avoiding the risk of a prison sentence for tax evasion.
Shakira acknowledged six counts of failing to pay the Spanish government 14.5 million euros ($15.8 million) in taxes between 2012 and 2014.
With the agreement, the famous pop star will receive a suspended three-year sentence and a fine of 7 million euros ($7.6 million).
The trial, which would have included over 100 witnesses over the next several weeks, only lasted a total of eight minutes.
In July, prosecutors said that they would seek a prison sentence of eight years and a fine for 24 million euros ($26 million) for Shakira.
The case hinged on where the pop star lived during that period. Prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged that she lived in Spain during that time and therefore should have paid taxes in Spain rather than the Bahamas where her official residence was at the time. Tax rates are also a lot lower in the Bahamas in comparison to Spain.
Shakira said she had “always strived to do what’s right and set a positive example for others,” following her court appearance.
She added, “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.”
The singer performed on Thursday at the Latin Grammys in Seville, Spain, thanking her fans for “being with me in the good times and the bad.”
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