Cristiano Ronaldo Receives Lawsuit from Spanish Prosecutors for Alleged Tax Fraud

By Jack Phillips, Epoch Times
June 13, 2017 9:40 am Last Updated: June 13, 2017 9:45 am

Spanish prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo for alleged tax fraud, it has been reported.

As the Telegraph reported, Ronaldo allegedly perpetrated tax fraud worth some $18.6 million dollars between 2011 and 2014.

Ronaldo allegedly hid his images rights earnings via the creation of a “business structure” that was created in 2010, the suit claims, as The Telegraph reported.

Real Madrid has declined to comment on the star’s legal situation.

“Prosecutors alleged that Ronaldo had defrauded the tax authorities of €1.4m in 2011, €1.7m in 2012, €3.2m in 2013 and €8.5m in 2014,” the Telegraph reported.

Cristiano Ronaldo (L) of Real Madrid contests the ball against Luca Antonelli of AC Milan during the International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid and AC Milan at Shanghai Stadium on July 30, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo (L) of Real Madrid contests the ball against Luca Antonelli of AC Milan during the International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid and AC Milan at Shanghai Stadium on July 30, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Ronaldo, who is a Portuguese national, became a Spanish tax resident starting in January 2010.

Last month, he was accused of fraud by the Spanish tax office following an investigation into his finances and tax returns, ESPN FC reported.

“Prosecutors said that if they decided to charge the Portugal captain, and if he was subsequently found guilty by a court, he would face a prison sentence of at least 15 months — one quarter of the five years,” ESPN reported in May. “At that level of sentence, it would be unlikely Ronaldo would go to jail as a first-time offender.”

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the second goal for Portugal during the FIFA 2014 World Cup playoff football match Sweden vs Portugal at the Friends Arena in Solna near Stockholm on November 19, 2013. (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the second goal for Portugal during the FIFA 2014 World Cup playoff football match Sweden vs Portugal at the Friends Arena in Solna near Stockholm on November 19, 2013. (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

It comes just months after Barcelona rival Lionel Messi was given a 21-month sentence for tax evasion, and Javier Mascherano received a 12-month suspended sentence, the BBC reported.

Of Messi’s sentence, the court said, “It defies logic to concede that someone who earns a large income does not know that he must pay taxes on it,” the BBC reported.

His father, Jorge Messi, who manages his finances, was also convicted. The two men were charged with defrauding the Spanish government $4.6 million in taxes.

Is Lionel Messi right up there with Diego Maradona and Pele as one of the best to ever play? Not everyone thinks so. (David Ramos/Getty Images)
Is Lionel Messi right up there with Diego Maradona and Pele as one of the best to ever play? Not everyone thinks so. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

Ronaldo is the highest-paid sportsman, according to Forbes magazine. He earned about $93 million from his Real Madrid salary, bonuses, and endorsements.

Last year, it was reported that leaked documents suggested that the soccer superstar avoided tax on income held in offshore accounts.

At the time, he denied the accusations.

When he was asked about the tax investigation, Ronaldo told RTP: “He who has nothing to hide has no fear,” the BBC reported.