Shakira faces charges of tax fraud in Spain

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A Spanish judge on Tuesday approved a trial against Colombian pop singer Shakira on charges of tax evasion.

Spanish prosecutors accused the entertainer in 2018 of failing to pay 14.5 million euros ($13.9) in taxes on earnings from 2012 to 2014. Prosecutors are asking for an eight-year prison sentence and a large fine if she is found guilty of tax evasion.

Shakira, 45, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and turned down a deal with authorities to avoid a trial. Her PR firm said she has already paid off all debts and another 3 million euros ($2.8 million) in interest.

The date for the trial has not yet been set.

The case depends on where Shakira lived between 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors in Barcelona have claimed the Grammy winner spent more than half that time in Spain and would have had to pay taxes in the country, despite her official residence in the Bahamas.

Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has been linked to Spain since her relationship with soccer player Gerard Pique. The couple, who have two children, used to live together in Barcelona but recently ended their 11-year relationship.

Spain has cracked down on football stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade for not paying their taxes in full. Both players were found guilty of tax evasion and received jail sentences waived for first-time offenders. Shakira faces charges of tax fraud in Spain

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