Shakira faces charges in new $7 million tax fraud case ahead of trial

Barcelona, Spain - Colombian pop star Shakira, who stands trial in Barcelona in November for tax fraud, is facing a fresh probe by prosecutors who claim she cheated Spain's tax office out of nearly $7 million.

Pop star Shakira has been charged in a new probe by prosecutors who claim she cheated Spain's tax office out of nearly $7 million.
Pop star Shakira has been charged in a new probe by prosecutors who claim she cheated Spain's tax office out of nearly $7 million.  © ANGELA WEISS / AFP

The case first came to light in July when a court near Barcelona said it had agreed to investigate two possible cases of tax fraud by the singer dating from 2018, although it did not say how much money was involved.

Details of the latest case were only made public on Tuesday after the 46-year-old was formally notified about the charges against her at home in Miami.

She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and claims she owes nothing to the Spanish tax office.

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Prosecutors point to two alleged offenses for filing "incorrect tax returns" detailing her personal income tax and wealth tax in 2018 when she was living in Barcelona.

Court documents, dating from May, say she used a "corporate framework" involving companies, some of which were based in tax havens, in order to avoid paying the tax.

In total, prosecutors accuse the superstar of owing $5.6 million in personal income tax and around $817,000 in wealth tax, which comes to a total of nearly $7 million with interest and adjustments.

In a brief statement issued Tuesday, her representatives said: "No notification (about the case) has been received in Miami, where the singer officially resides."

Shakira is due to stand trial for tax fraud in November

Shakira is set to stand trial for a separate tax fraud case in November.
Shakira is set to stand trial for a separate tax fraud case in November.  © Jason Kempin / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

"Shakira's legal team is focused on preparing for the trial relating to 2012-2014, which will begin on November 20," it said.

Prosecutors in that case have requested an eight-year sentence and fine of $25 million after Shakira rejected a plea deal over the accusations of tax evasion.

The case centers on where the singer lived between 2012 and 2014.

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Prosecutors allege Shakira spent more than half of that period in Spain and should have paid taxes in the country.

They say she moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public, but maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.

Shakira's lawyers say that until 2014, she earned most of her money from international tours, that she only moved to Spain full-time in 2015 and has met all her tax obligations.

Shakira and Pique lived together in Barcelona until last year when they ended their 11-year relationship. They have two children.

The singer announced in April that she and her children were leaving Barcelona and now live in Miami.

Cover photo: ANGELA WEISS / AFP

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