MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Real Madrid football club striker and Portuguese national football team forward Cristiano Ronaldo may be fined 30 million euros ($35.3 million) for tax evasion, As media outlet reported on Sunday, citing the Spanish Treasury.
According to the outlet, if the football player loses the trial, he will have to pay at least 30 million euros in total, together with interest, despite his refusal to admit any tax evasion allegations during the court hearing in July, when he claimed he had never concealed his income.
Ronaldo is accused of defrauding the Spanish Treasury of 14.7 million euros in taxes from 2011 to 2014, with the court hearing on the case set for December 22.
The Real Madrid star has already tried to placate by the Spanish authorities with paying €6 million ($6.7 million) after they opened an investigation into alleged tax evasion based on an expose by Football Leaks, a journalistic consortium.
Football Leaks' Report
The footballer is one of several current and former Real Madrid players accused of tax evasion by Football Leaks, including Pepe, Luka Modric, Fabio Coentrao, Ricardo Carvalho, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria, as well as former manager Jose Mourinho.
The journalist group reported in December that Ronaldo allegedly diverted €150 million to a tax haven in the British Virgin Islands to avoid paying taxes in Spain.
Ronaldo also attempted to exploit the so-called "Beckham Law," a Spanish tax decree in force since 2005 and which applied to association foot (soccer) players until January 1, 2015, allowing foreign nationals to pay a 24.75 percent tax, as opposed to the 43 percent paid by high-paid Spanish nationals. In 2014, just before the law ceased to apply to him, Ronaldo sold his future image rights to Singaporean businessman Peter Lim, which would prevent the tax office from claiming a higher percentage of income from the rights.
The allegations surrounding the Real Madrid stars come after FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father were convicted of tax evasion last year. They were found guilty of defrauding the Spanish tax office of €4.1 million ($.46 million) for the years 2007-2009 and handed 21 month suspended prison sentences, which they are both serving