Cristiano Ronaldo has reached an agreement with the prosecutor’s office of Madrid whereby he would plead guilty to four counts of tax fraud, accept a two-year prison sentence and a fine of 18.8 million euros ($21.9 million), although the agreement is pending final approval by Spain’s tax office.
Portugal and Real Madrid forward presented a proposal to the prosecutor some weeks ago, which the office then responded to with a counterproposal that has been accepted by Ronaldo’s lawyers.
The deal is now pending approval by the tax office, which was the body that initially charged Ronaldo with nonpayment of tax, sources told EFE.
While Ronaldo acknowledged four counts of tax fraud, which would carry a penalty of two years in prison – six months for each crime – the player trusts that the criminal convictions will be substituted by another fine.
However, the tax office does not want a substitution; it instead prefers a firm sentence of two years in prison so that, although Ronaldo may not enter jail because such a short sentence on a first offence is normally suspended, he would still have a criminal record that would make him not want to re-offend.
Should a prison sentence not be handed down, the tax office would appeal and lodge an administrative claim rather than a criminal one, something that would suppose the imposition of a much higher fine.
For the moment, the agreement between Ronaldo and the prosecutor is verbal and must be formalized.
The prosecutor has accused Ronaldo of having defrauded the tax office four times between 2011 and 2014, failing to pay 14.8 million euros worth of tax.
The sums allegedly defrauded are 1.4 million in 2011, 1.7 in 2012, 3.2 in 2013 and 8.5 in 2014.
However, the verbal agreement reduces the fraud from 14.8 million euros to 5.7 million, although the soccer star must pay almost 19 million including interest and fines.
Once all the agreements are signed with the approval of the prosecutor and tax office, the documents will be transferred to an investigating magistrate at a Madrid court where Ronaldo first testified almost a year ago, on July 31.
It was on that occasion that the Madrid player said: “The Spanish Treasury knows all my income in detail because we have presented it to them, I have never hidden anything, nor have I had the intention of evading taxes.”