Shakira has lost her last chance to avoid trial for tax fraud in Spain. On Thursday, Chance to Svoid Trial For Tax Fraud in Spain the Barcelona Provincial High Court threw out the Colombian singer’s appeal and confirmed that there is sufficient evidence that she defrauded the Spanish Tax Agency of €14.5 million ($15.5 million). Although it’s still possible for Shakira to reach a last-minute agreement with Spain’s public prosecutor, she has not succeeded in stopping the case from going to trial. The three-year investigation into Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, came to an end last year in July. The judge found that there was “sufficient evidence” to try her for evading €14.5 million in taxes by concealing her wealth via a network of companies based in tax havens.
The judge held that, between 2012 and 2014, the singer was a tax resident in Spain and, therefore, had to pay her taxes in the country, which she did not do. Shakira’s defense filed an appeal to insist that there is no direct evidence that Shakira spent “more than 183 days in Spain” during the years in question.
The singer also argued that she does not have any debt with the Spanish Tax Office, pointing out that she has already paid €17 million ($18.2 million). But the Barcelona court dismissed her appeal on Thursday. Although the court did not go into detail, it found that there was enough evidence to indicate that the case should go to trial.
The Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office was waiting for the court’s ruling to present its indictment against Shakira. The singer is accused of three tax offenses and may face prison time. There is still time for her to reach a last-minute deal with the prosecutors, i.e. admit to the accusations and pay a fine in exchange for avoiding prison, but Shakira’s defense continues to maintain that she has not committed any crime and that she will defend her innocence in court.
Shakira will not be able to avoid trial for tax fraud, unless she reaches a last-minute deal with Spain’s public prosecutor. After a three-year investigation, Judge Marco Jesús Juberías has closed the probe into the Colombian singer and found that there is “sufficient evidence” to try her for evading €14.5 million in taxes by concealing her wealth via a network of companies based in tax havens. The prosecution is accusing Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, of six tax offenses. If sentenced, the superstar may face jail time.
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll stopped paying taxes in Spain during the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, even though she had a duty to do so as her tax residence was here,” Judge Jesús Juberías wrote in a court document to which EL PAÍS has had access.
The decision is a major setback for Shakira, who has done everything possible to stop the case from going to court. This legal battle has centered on the singer’s place of residence. The judge also found enough evidence against another defendant in the case, Shakira’s lawyer and tax advisor at the time. The singer, who has denied the accusations and claims to be innocent, has already paid €17 million to the Tax Agency. Sources from her legal team told EL PAÍS that she will appeal the judge’s decision.