Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly the next footballer who could face a prison sentence for alleged tax fraud.
The Portuguese has been accused of tax fraud, according to documents supplied to German publication Der Spiegel by Football Leaks.
It has been claimed that Ronaldo has shifted at least €150 million (R2.2 billion) in income through tax havens in the British Virgin Islands since 2009.
On Monday, the union of Spain’s tax agency employees requested that Spanish authorities look into Ronaldo’s case and estimated that the player could be fined €600 000 (R8.9 million) for each year between 2011 and 2013, and also face a prison sentence of two to six years per incident if found guilty.
“In the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Tax Agency has ordered an inspection for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013,” a statement read, as published by the Daily Star.
“For each of those years, if there has been tax fraud, it would probably surpass 600 000 euros and if companies in tax havens had been used, we’d be talking about ‘aggravated fiscal fraud’ which would carry a prison sentence of two to six years for each crime.
“However, if the player admits wrongdoing and pays back the amounts requested, in his case, the punishment could be reduced so he would receive a maximum prison sentence of 18 months if convicted of three counts of tax fraud and would avoid jail as a first-time offender.”
It appears that if Ronaldo admits to any wrongdoing after being found guilty, the potential sentence could be reduced to 18 months in prison.