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Cristiano Ronaldo Accused of $16M Tax Fraud in Spain

According to the prosecutor office, the Real Madrid player defrauded 1.4 million euros in 2011, 1.7 million euros in 2012, 3.2 million euros in 2013 and 8.5 million euros in 2014.It remains to be seen if Ronaldo will face a prolonged legal battle like his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi, whom the Portuguese is alleged to have evaded three times more tax than.GestiFute, a firm representing several footballers defended on Tuesday that Ronaldo is compliant with his tax payments. In December, leaked documents appeared to suggest that Cristiano had avoided tax on income allegedly held in offshore accounts – allegations he has also denied.Real Madrid have declined to comment the report, whereas Cristiano Ronaldo said this is an “injustice“.Ronaldo is the world’s highest paid athlete, according to Forbes magazine.”Real Madrid has full confidence in our player Cristiano Ronaldo, who we understand has acted in accordance with the legality regarding the fulfillment of his fiscal obligations”, the statement said.”Cristiano Ronaldo has always shown since his arrival at the Real Madrid C. F., in July 2009, a clear willingness to comply with all their tax obligations”.”The accused made use of a corporate structure created in 2010 to hide from the tax authority income generated in Spain through image rights”, the Spanish prosecutors said in a statement.It is claimed that Ronaldo didn’t declare income of £25m related to image rights.In the indictment, the prosecution alleged that Ronaldo had evaded tax “in a conscious and voluntary manner”.In his announcement Tuesday, the Spanish prosecutor said Messi’s case was a precedent for the charges filed against Ronaldo. The former Manchester United player has led Madrid to back-to-back Champions League titles and its first Spanish league in five seasons, and helped Portugal to win last year’s European Championship.He is the latest high-profile football player to run afoul of Spain’s tax authorities.However since both men have no prior criminal history and the sentence is below 2 years, they will spend no time behind bars.