Cristiano Ronaldo faces accusations of $16.5 million in tax fraud in Spain
Prosecutors in Spain filed a lawsuit against Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo accusing the soccer star of defrauding Spanish authorities of nearly $16.5 million in unpaid taxes over a three–year period, according to multiple media reports.
Authorities say Ronaldo had knowingly used a "business structure" that was created in 2010 for the sole purpose of hiding his income in Spain from his image rights and a complaint was filed by The Economic Crime Section of the Provincial Prosecutor's Office of Madrid.
Because of that business structure, the prosecutor's office says that Ronaldo supposes a "voluntary" and "conscious" breach of its fiscal obligations in Spain.
Ronaldo, 32, is accused of not paying 1.39 million euros in taxes in 2011, 1.66 million in 2012, 3.2 million in 2013 and 8.5 million in 2014.
According to Spanish law, because the tax amounts exceed 120,000 euros per year, not paying is a crime punishable by one to five years in prison.
Before last week's Champions League final, Ronaldo said he wasn't concerned about possible charges.
"I am very relaxed about it the truth is very, very relaxed," Ronaldo said. "I know that these things can be resolved with the best decisions. So I am good. I can say from the depth of my heart.
"When you do things well you can go to bed feeling relaxed. And I sleep well always, always."
Ronaldo is one of the world's highest paid athletes, according to Forbes Magazine, making an estimated $93 million in the past year—$58 million from his soccer salary and $35 million from endorsements.