Shakira attends the 2022 NBCUniversal Upfront at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on May 16, 2022 in New York City.

Shakira ‘Is Confident in Her Innocence’ as Spain Seeks 8-Year Jail Term for Unpaid Taxes

Shakira attends the 2022 NBCUniversal Upfront at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on May 16, 2022 in New York City.

Shakira attends the 2022 NBCUniversal Upfront at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on May 16, 2022 in New York City.

Roy Rochlin / Getty

Shakira has turned down a settlement offer in Spain in a tax fraud case and could face up to eight years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors in Spain are reportedly seeking eight years in prison for Shakira if she is convicted at trial in a $15 million tax fraud case, Reuters and The Associated Press reported on Friday.

The 45-year-old superstar is accused of failing to pay taxes from 2012 to 2014, a period in which she claims she did not live in Spain. Meanwhile, earlier this week, the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer rejected a settlement offer from the Prosecutor’s Office to close the case, per Reuters. The singer opted to go to trial instead, though no date has been set.

Shakira performs on stage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Shakira performs on stage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Attention Sports / Getty Shakira

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Meanwhile, a representative for the Colombian musician told PEOPLE that he is “confident in his innocence.”

“Shakira has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer, and faithfully adhering to the counsel of PricewaterhouseCoopers, a reputable and globally recognized tax firm,” representative says.

His statement continues, “Unfortunately, the Spanish Tax Office, which loses one out of every two lawsuits with its taxpayers, continues to violate its rights and pursue another baseless case. Confidence to Shakira.” that his innocence will be proved by the end of the judicial process.”

In May, a Spanish court rejected her appeal in the case, ruling that there was enough evidence to proceed. The court upheld a July 2021 decision when Spanish judge Marco Juberias determined there was “substantial evidence of guilt” after a three-year investigation, according to the AP.

Shakira had previously claimed that she spent most of those years as a resident of the Bahamas, and filed her taxes accordingly. in the documents received by both el periodico And el paisThe singer’s defense claimed that she had actually spent most of her time abroad, and made no attempt to deliberately hide her income, citing any misconceptions as to “the difference in norms”.

At the time, Shakira’s representatives told the Associated Press that she paid off the debt after the country’s tax agency told her.

According to the Associated Press and Reuters, “Shakira’s conduct has always been impeccable in all countries where she has had to pay taxes, and she has relied on and faithfully followed the recommendations of the best experts and expert advisors.” saying that his lawyers plan to “defend his innocence”.

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According to the Associated Press, while testifying in June 2019, Shakira denied the allegations against her.

He was first charged with tax evasion in January 2018. That February, he owed nearly $25 million in unpaid taxes.

The development in the case comes a month after Shakira announced that she and her partner Gerard Pique — who share two sons, Milan, 9, and Sasha, 7 — are taking time apart.

The couple, who first confirmed their relationship in March 2011, said in a joint statement in June, “We regret to confirm that we are separating.” “We demand privacy for the well-being of our children is our top priority at this time. Thank you in advance for your understanding and respect.”

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