Spain prosecutors seek to close Shakira tax fraud case

Spanish prosecutors on Wednesday moved to dismiss a tax fraud case against Shakira just months after opening proceedings against the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer over unpaid taxes worth $7 million.

“The Barcelona provincial prosecutor’s office for financial crimes has requested that the proceedings against Shakira be closed … for the 2018 tax year,” the prosecutors office said in a statement, pointing to “insufficient evidence”.

Prosecutors opened the case in July, accusing the Columbian superstar of using a network of companies, some of them based in tax havens, to cheat the tax office out of 6.6 million euros ($7.09 million) in 2018, including interest and adjustments.

A month later, the so-called Queen of Latin Pop paid 6.6 million euros to settle the debt, her agent told AFP.

On November 20, Shakira reached a last-minute settlement with prosecutors on the opening day of her trial over an earlier tax fraud case involving income she earned between 2012 and 2014.

Prosecutors had sought a jail sentence of over eight years for the singer whom they accused of defrauding the tax authorities of 14.5 million euros in a case that centred on how much time she was living in Spain.

Shakira denied the charges, saying she only moved to Spain full time in 2015.

– Sing a song of tax woes –

By the time the case came to trial, she had already paid 17.45 million euros to settle her outstanding tax debt, prosecutors said at the time.

On the day it opened, the trial — which had been due to run for three weeks and hear from some 120 witnesses — was quickly concluded after she agreed to pay a fine of nearly 7.8 million euros to settle the case.

At the time she explained she had settled “with the best interest of my kids at heart” because she needed “to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years” and focus on her career.

Now 47, Shakira lives in Miami with her two sons after splitting from Barcelona star defender Gerard Pique.

He was himself convicted of tax fraud in 2016 and ordered to pay 2.1 million euros in fines and arrears. Spain’s Supreme Court in 2021 annulled his conviction.

Last year, Shakira’s superstar Argentine producer Bizarrap won the Latin Grammy for song of the year with a track taking a swipe at Pique — who has since retired from football — in which she accuses him of leaving her with a “debt to the tax office”.

“People on my team tried to convince me to change the lyrics, but I’m not a UN diplomat. I am an artist and, above all, a woman,” Shakira told Spanish celebrity magazine ¡Hola!

Spain has in recent years cracked down on celebrities, including football stars such as Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, for unpaid taxes.

Both players were found guilty of evasion and received prison sentences that were waived for first-time offenders.


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