Portuguese and Juventus football star Cristiano Ronaldo recently pleaded guilty to tax fraud in Spain.
Ronaldo received an 18.8 million Euro fine and a suspended 23-month prison sentence for avoiding his tax obligations while living in Spain as a member of Real Madrid FC.
The footballer will not have to serve his prison term as first time offenders in Spain who receive sentences below the two-year threshold are instead put under probation.
As reported by Kelly Phillips Erb for Forbes, the Portuguese footballer had been accused back in 2017 “of failing to pay 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million US) in taxes,” allegedly avoiding to pay his share “by funneling income related to image rights, meaning his likeness, the very thing that Ronaldo capitalizes on, through a series of offshore companies.”
As a result of this decision, Portugal is mulling taking away several public honors that were awarded to Ronaldo as he led the country to victory during the 2016 Euro tournament.
Discussing Ronaldo’s case with reporters, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said, “The law is very simple: it is up to the chancellors of the national orders to see if anything has happened that could lead to the loss of an honour.”
“We should let those with the legal power to decide to do so and see whether the law applies or not in this case,” he added.
The final decision on the footballer’s awards is left to the chancellor of Portugal's civil Order of Merit, one of the many divisions of the country's honours system.
Photo courtesy of A_Lesik / Shutterstock.com.
Jose Mourinho Sentenced in Tax Fraud Case
Former Real Madrid and Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho has pleaded guilty to tax fraud and will have to pay a 2.2 million Euro fine.
The Guardian reports that Mourinho “confirmed a plea deal over charges that he had defrauded the Spanish tax authorities of €3.3m by failing to declare revenues from image rights in 2011 and 2012.”
Broken down, as reported by The Guardian, the now-unemployed Portuguese coach will “pay €1.9m – 60% of the amount defrauded – plus an additional €121,764 in interest” and “a €182,500 fine in exchange for serving no jail time.”
The Portuguese coach received a suspended one-year sentence, which he will not have to serve as a first-time offender.
In terms of his crime, the Portuguese national used offshore structures in Ireland, New Zealand and the BVI to hide his income while he was coaching Real Madrid FC.
ESPN reports that Mourinho “signed over his image rights to a British Virgin Islands-registered company, Koper Services S.A., in September 2004, and the company structure was used by Mourinho” to conceal his image rights income.
As explained by the New Zealand Herald, Mourinho set up the New Zealand-based Kaitaia Trust, through which he owned Koper Services S.A., as a conduit for image rights income generated while in Spain, and its main beneficiaries were Mourinho’s wife and their two children.
Who’s the next footballing giant to fall in Spain? Any educated guesses? Let us know below!