Spanish prosecutor charges Ronaldo with $16.5M tax fraud

ASSOCIATED PRESS
MADRID
Published 13.06.2017 14:29
Updated 13.06.2017 14:31
This file photo taken on June 02, 2017 shows Real Madrid's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo taking part in a training session at The Principality Stadium in Cardiff. (AFP Photo)
This file photo taken on June 02, 2017 shows Real Madrid's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo taking part in a training session at The Principality Stadium in Cardiff. (AFP Photo)

A Spanish state prosecutor has charged Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo with defrauding Spain's tax office of 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million) in unpaid taxes.

In a statement released Tuesday, Madrid's regional state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four accounts of tax fraud from 2011-14.

It said the Portugal forward "took advantage of a business structure created in 2010 to hide from fiscal authorities income generated in Spain from image rights."

The statement said Ronaldo used what it deems a shell company in the Virgin Islands to "create a screen in order to hide his total income from Spain's Tax Office."

Ronaldo's agency had previously said he was up to date on his taxes.

Last month, tax officials said Ronaldo adjusted his tax declarations and paid an extra 6 million euros ($6.7 million) in 2014.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was convicted of tax fraud for unpaid income from image rights last year, but he is not expected to serve prison time since it was his first offense.

Ronaldo is Europe's leading soccer player, helping Real Madrid win back-to-back Champions League titles and Portugal to win last year's European Championship.

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