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Cristiano Ronaldo Accused of Tax Evasion, Could Face Jail Time

17 June 2017

Ronaldo, 32, is accused of not paying 1.39 million euros in taxes in 2011, 1.66 million in 2012, 3.2 million in 2013 and 8.5 million in 2014.

The report says that he "intentionally" did not declare income of €28.4m ($31.8m USD) related to image rights, declaring just €11.5m ($12.9m USD) of earnings from 2011-14, while his real income was nearly €43m ($48.2M USD).

Because of that business structure, the prosecutor's office says that Ronaldo supposes a "voluntary" and "conscious" breach of its fiscal obligations in Spain. The tax evasion relates to a three-year period starting in 2011.

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A four-time Ballon d'Or victor, the 32-year-old Ronaldo has led Real Madrid to back-to-back Champions League titles and its first Spanish league in five seasons, and helped Portugal to win last year's European Championship.

He has won 11 major trophies in his time in Spain, including a LaLiga and Champions League double in the 2016-17 season.

They say that in 2010, Ronaldo set up a company to manage his image rights in the British Virgin Islands but then transferred those rights to a second company in Ireland, exclusively for the goal of creating a "screen" to confuse Spanish tax authorities.

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Additionally, the prosecutor said Ronaldo "intentionally" failed to declare income of 28.4 million euros linked to the sale of his image rights from 2015-2020 to a Spanish company. The four counts of tax fraud were based on a report from Spain's tax agency, it said in a statement.

Ronaldo, who led Real Madrid to their 12th European Cup earlier this month, is the latest in a long line of soccer players in Spain - among them Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Neymar - to be caught up in cases over tax or transfers.

In its statement, Gestha said the most favourable scenario for Ronaldo would be that he is also given a 21-month prison sentence.

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In December, leaked documents suggested that Ronaldo had avoided tax on income allegedly held in offshore accounts.