Monday, November 27, 2023 – Pop singer, Shakira has reportedly handed over more than £5.5 million to a court investigating her over another alleged tax fraud.
The £5.7 million deposit covers the £5.3 million prosecutors claim she evaded plus an interest payment.
The Colombian artist will continue to be investigated over the suspected 2018 tax breaches.
This criminal probe was launched ahead of her admission at the start of last week in a separate case to six counts of tax fraud totalling £12.7 million she committed in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
But if the ongoing criminal investigation leads to a new trial, her settlement of her tax debt is likely to lead to a more lenient eventual sentence, according to respected Catalan newspaper El Periodico.
Officials confirmed in July Shakira was being probed over suspected 2018 tax breaches.
A spokesman for Catalonia’s High Court of Justice said at the time: ‘Court of Instruction Number 2 in Esplugues de Llobregat has opened a procedure following a complaint presented by prosecutors against the singer Shakira for two suspected tax crimes related to income tax and wealth tax for the Spanish tax year of 2018.’
The singer-songwriter has not yet been questioned by a judge. The quiz when it occurs is likely to take place via video link so she is spared a forced return to Barcelona from her new base in Miami.
Shakira said after admitting to tax fraud for the years 2012 to 2014 last Monday at a court in Barcelona that she had done it for her career and her two sons Milan and Sasha.
In a lengthy statement issued through her PR representatives she said: ‘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.’
Taking a swipe at the Spanish tax system, she added: ‘I feel the system in Spain needs to be revised for the benefit of its citizens.
‘And I will continue being an ally to ensure this occurs.
‘There are a lot of people who cannot afford to pay for good defence lawyers or even reach an out-of-court settlement and have seen their lives crumble in front of them because of discrepancies with the Spanish Treasury.’
Insisting her fight to clear her name had caused her an enormous amount of wasted time and resources, she added: ‘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.’
The mother-of-two admitted wrongdoing in a brief public hearing after taking the stand in an eye-catching pink trouser suit.
Spanish state prosecutors announced in a pre-trial indictment they were seeking an eight-year and two month jail term for Shakira and a fine of nearly £21 million if judges found her guilty of six counts of tax fraud.
The trial, due to last until December 20 over 12 sessions, did not go ahead as a result of the plea bargain deal.
Judge Manuel del Amo confirmed in open court after hearing the singer’s guilty plea that in light of the agreement, he was handing her a three-year prison sentence – six months for each of the six counts of tax fraud she had admitted to.
He then added her prison time would be substituted by a fine, meaning she would not have to go to jail.
Shakira was fined £6.4 million for the six tax fraud crimes she confessed to, less than a third of the amount prosecutors were seeking ahead of trial.
She had already repaid the tax officials accused her of dodging – which with interest on top came to nearly £15 million.
She was also ordered to pay a fine totalling £378,000 to avoid prison.