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Ronaldo appears in court on tax charges

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cristiano ronaldo

Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo, has appeared at a Spanish court where he is facing allegations that he evaded millions in tax.

The Portuguese reportedly spent an hour-and-a-half giving testimony to judges at the court in the Madrid suburb of Pozuelo de Alarcónon on Monday.

Prosecutors are accusing the world’s highest paid athlete of evading €14.7m in tax.

They say Ronaldo took “advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities”, which was a “voluntary and conscious breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain”.

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The 32-year old had previously denied the allegations, saying his “conscience is clear”, but made no statement after the pre-trial hearing, as he left the press men outside the court without saying a word.

Ronaldo is only the latest in a string of high-profile footballers to be pursued by the Spanish tax authorities.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi was recently handed a 21-month prison sentence after being found guilty of the same charge.

However, Messi, who was only accused of evading €4.1m in tax, €10.6m less than Ronaldo’s, was allowed to pay €252,000 in place of jail time.

But if the case is sent to trial and he is found guilty, Ronaldo could face a fine of “at least €28m” and a prison sentence of three-and-a-half years, the Gestha union of experts at Spain’s Inland Revenue has said.

 

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