Just when Portugal football star Cristiano Ronaldo was putting the World Cup early exit behind him, here’s more trouble. The 33-year-old star player has been handed a hefty fine of 3.2 million euros and sentenced to 24 months in prison by the Spanish Tax authorities for evading taxes.
According to the attorney general’s office, Ronaldo has accepted the prison sentence of two years, but the length of the jail term means that the soccer star will not have to serve time in jail. Under Spanish law, first-time tax offenders convicted of a financial crime are spared prison if the sentence is two years or less.
Reportedly, after settling a tax evasion case with Spanish tax authorities on Friday, Ronaldo will have to pay up the default amount, along with interest charges on the tax amount due for the years between 2011-2014. This was during the time he was playing for Spanish club Real Madrid. The settlement of 19 million euros includes a fine of €3.2 million for defrauding Spain of €5.7 million in taxes, according to a statement released on Thursday by the office of the attorney general of the Madrid region.
Former Real Madrid star Ronaldo is one of several players being investigated by the Spanish authorities and accused of using offshore companies to avoid paying taxes on their advertising contracts.
In 2016, Argentine star who plays for Barcelona Lionel Messi, was also convicted in Spain, along with his father, of failing to disclose some of his advertising contracts. They were sentenced to 21 months in prison. The same sentencing guidelines meant that neither served any time behind bars.