If Shakira, a pop diva, is found guilty of the alleged colossal £12 million tax scam, she may spend up to eight years in prison.
The 45-year-old “Hips Don’t Lie” singer from Colombia is accused of cheating the Spanish government of millions of dollars between 2012 and 2014.
Regarding six distinct allegations of tax fraud totaling 14.5 million euros (£12.2 million), Spanish prosecutors are arguing for the worst punishment imaginable.
State prosecutors want the mother-of-two to receive a 23 million euro (£19.2 million) fine in addition to an eight-year prison term.
Although she moved to Barcelona in 2011 to be with her ex, the Spanish defender Gerard Pique, Shakira, who rose to fame with her 2001 single “Wherever, Whenever,” is accused of faking to reside overseas in order to avoid paying taxes.
The Barcelona star Pique and Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, split up earlier this year.
Earlier this year, a dejected Pique was caught on camera ostensibly listening to Shakira in his car, only one month after the couple had broken up over claims that he had cheated.
During the shooting of her music video for the World Cup song Waka Waka in 2010, the couple first got to know one another.
A year later, soon after Pique’s Spain team won the World Cup in South Africa, they began dating.
Shakira wants to move to Miami with them, thus the ex-couple is claimed to have spent the previous few weeks debating the future of their two kids.
Shakira had previously registered as a full tax resident in the Bahamas and had just done so in Spain as of 2015.
Any income earned outside of Spain must be taxed in Spain for all officially recognised residents.
Additionally, for taxation purposes, anyone who stays in Spain for more than 183 days in a single calendar year is regarded as a Spanish resident.
Shakira was the subject of a year-long investigation by tax authorities, who even paid a visit to her favourite Barcelona hair salon and looked through her social media to try to prove that she spent the majority of the three years at issue there.
They came to the conclusion that she had stayed in Spain for 242 days in 2012, 212 days in 2013, and 243 days in 2014.
The artist, whose albums have sold over 80 million copies worldwide, rejects all accusations of wrongdoing.
According to Shakira’s agent, The Sun Online: “Shakira has consistently complied with the law, displayed impeccable character as a person and a taxpayer, and obediently followed the advice of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a prominent and well-known tax firm.
“Unfortunately, the Spanish Tax Office continues to violate her rights and pursue yet another pointless action despite the fact that it loses one out of every two disputes with its taxpayers.
“Shakira is convinced that by the conclusion of the legal process, her innocence will be established.”
Shakira’s net worth was estimated to be over $350 million (£288 million) last year.
She believes in her innocence and has chosen to leave the matter in the hands of the authorities, according to a statement released earlier this week by her PR agency Llorente y Cuenca.
There is no set time for her court appearance.