Shakira's Tax Fraud Case Is Over Before It Began

Colombian singer settles with Spanish prosecutors over tax evasion of alleged $16M
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2023 6:11 AM CST
Shakira's Tax Fraud Case Is Over Before It Began
Shakira leaves court in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday.   (AP Photo/Joan Mateu Parra)

Shakira's tax fraud trial began Monday, and it lasted a whopping eight minutes before it came to a close. That's according to the AP, which reports that the Colombian pop star reached a deal with prosecutors in Barcelona, Spain, over what they'd alleged was a failure to pay about $15.8 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014. By accepting the deal, the 46-year-old "Hips Don't Lie" singer avoids jail time, instead agreeing to a suspended three-year sentence and a fine of about $7.6 million. Over the summer, prosecutors had said they were pushing for an eight-year-plus sentence, as well as a $26 million fine.

Shakira had previously rebuffed a deal regarding the alleged tax evasion in July 2022, though it's not clear what the details were of that proposed arrangement. Shakira's name emerged in 2018 in the so-called Paradise Papers, which detailed the offshore tax shelters that many high-profile names were taking advantage of. Prosecutors accused her of living more than half of the two-year period in question in Spain, not the Bahamas where her official residence was listed (tax rates are higher in Spain), and of using a "corporate framework" to shield her income and assets, per the New York Times. Shakira's defense team argued she hadn't spent more than 60 days annually in Spain, citing her world tour and visits to the United States to record The Voice.

The singer (full name: Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll) was unsuccessful last year when she lost an appeal to try to have the case dismissed. She explained her most recent decision on Monday. "I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight," Shakira said in a statement, still insisting she was innocent of the charges against her, per Variety. "I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love." The mom of two added: "For me, today, winning is getting my time back for my kids and my career." (More Shakira stories.)

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