The long-ongoing tax avoidance case between the government of Spain and pop goddess Shakira has finally concluded. The songstress has reached a settlement that will clean her slate and keep her out of prison.
Spain has been going after Shakira for years over the equivalent of $15.8 million USD in unpaid taxes the government alleged she was supposed to have paid between 2012 and 2014, a period when it claimed Shakira was residing in Barcelona while she argued otherwise.
Now, she’s reached a plea bargain with the government, agreeing to pay some $19 million in back taxes, which includes interest and a $7.6 million fine, in addition to the money she has already paid.
Also included in her total financial obligation: A separate fine of about $472,000 US that is specifically earmarked for suspending her prison sentence.
There’s also a sentence of three years in prison which will be suspended in exchange for the plea deal. In a press statement, Shakira told fans she agreed to the deal despite still taking issue with the Spanish government’s charges in order “to spare my children seeing their mother sacrifice her well-being.” Her statement went on:
“I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love, my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career…I admire tremendously those who have fought these injustices to the end, but for me, today, winning is getting my time back for my kids and my career.”
The plea deal was reportedly something of a victory for Shakira, since Spanish prosecutors were seeking twice the fine that she ended up agreeing to pay. And since her net worth is safely and soundly at the $300 million mark, it’s an easy decision to pay the fines and stay out of jail, whatever the fines may be.
But her defense attorney Miriam Company says she could have fared well in court on the merits of her case:
“Her legal team had prepared the trial and were convinced we could demonstrate her innocence, but the circumstances changed and (Shakira) opted to accept the deal.”
In any event, the long Spanish tax avoidance case against Shakira is now closed.