Star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has accepted a €18.8m (£16.5m) fine and a suspended 23-month jail sentence from a Spanish court, as part of a deal to settle charges of tax evasion in Spain
The striker, who now plays for Juventus, faced allegations relating to his time with Real Madrid. The Spanish authorities claimed he had avoided paying tax on image right deals between 2010 and 2014, when he was based in the Spanish capital. Prosecutors alleged the proceeds, which were said to be as much as €14m, were channelled through low-tax jurisdictions.
In court, as part of his deal, Ronaldo acknowledged four incidents amounting to €5.7m owed, according to Spanish-language news agency EFE. Lawyers for the footballer denied any deliberate attempts to evade tax and said there had been a misunderstanding about what was required under Spanish law.
Ronaldo is unlikely to spend any time in jail as in Spain but will serve his sentence on probation, those convicted of crimes do not usually go to prison for sentences of under two years.
Report by Pat Sweet