Juventus striker Christiano Ronaldo has been handed a 23 month suspended jail sentence and accepted fines of over £16.5m. The Spanish court ruled Ronaldo must settle charges of tax evasion in Spain.
The Spanish authorities ruled that, during the footballer’s time with Real Madrid, over €14m were channelled through tax havens and various other low-tax jurisdictions in an attempt to pay less tax on the proceeds. Prosecutors alleged image right deals had been passed through other countries between 2010 and 2014. At this time, Ronaldo was based in Madrid, making him taxable in his home country on foreign earnings.
Ronaldo accepted four incidents of over €5m owed as reported by a Spanish news agency, EFE. Lawyers representing the footballer stated that there was no deliberate attempt to evade the tax nor was there any concealment of the evidence relating to this. They said it was a misunderstanding about what should be declared on a tax return under Spanish law.
It’s very rare those convicted of any crimes resulting in a sentence of less than two years ever spend time in prison, but this time will be spent on probation.