Shakira changes strategy to avoid trial for tax fraud after separating from Gerard Piqué

Shakira He no longer wants to continue fighting the fight he has with the justice for the alleged fraud in the payment of taxes. The Colombian singer has decided to change her strategy. Her goal now is to avoid at all costs undergoing a trial that would entail enormous public exposure at a time when she intends to go unnoticed. That is why she has commissioned her team of lawyers to seek an agreement with the State Attorney’s Office —which defends the interests of the Treasury— and with the Prosecutor’s Office that allows her to avoid jail in exchange for accepting that she defrauded and paying a millionaire fine. Personal and legal circumstances have led Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll to take the step and lower her arms.

The Court of Barcelona last May dealt a definitive blow to the path of confrontation by knocking down the singer’s last resort. The magistrates concluded that, between 2012 and 2014, Shakira spent most of her time in Spain and, therefore, she had to pay her taxes here. The credit card payments, the visits to establishments or the photos that she herself posted on social networks prove it. In 2012 she also bought a house, rented a recording studio and followed the pregnancy of her first child, Milan, in a clinic in Barcelona. The magistrates thus left her one step away from the dock for a fraud of 14.5 million euros. The Prosecutor’s Office is expected to present its indictment before August, according to judicial sources.

The breakup of his relationship with Gerard Piqué is the other factor that has triggered the turn. The Barça footballer was the main supporter of the hard line, that is, of maintaining the fight until the end because he believed that he could win the case. He himself fought to the last consequences in his litigation with the Tax Agency, which imposed a fine of 2.1 million euros by transferring their image rights to a company to pay less taxes. Won. In December 2021, the Supreme Court He agreed with him and annulled the fine.

Without Piqué, and with other plans for her future —which, according to some media, include establishing her residence in Miami (USA)—, Shakira intends to close a judicial chapter that “affects her emotionally a lot”, sources close to the artist specify. . The player’s separation, who was “her main point of support on this issue”, has made the singer’s priority to avoid undergoing a trial that could last days or weeks, which is public and would involve great media pressure. In addition, a multitude of witnesses would parade through the hearing room, airing Circumstances of your private life (what hairdresser did you go to, what medical visits did you make, what events did you attend) for the simple reason that the core of the judicial process is, precisely, to demonstrate whether she lived more than half of the year in Spain and, therefore, should be considered a tax resident in this country. The defense has used, without success, a certificate of tax residence in the Bahamaswhere, according to the inspector who handled the case, he never went.

It will not be easy to reach an agreement. The so-called consent sentences —in which the defendant accepts the sentence, generally in exchange for a reduction that prevents him from going to prison— are the usual formula with which tax fraud cases are resolved, especially when they affect personalities public. There are exceptions, like that of the writer Ildefonso Falconesbut it is the general way. A few days ago, without going any further, the former Barça striker Samuel Eto’o accepted a sentence of less than two years in prison when the prosecution initially requested more than 10. Shakira’s problem is that the Prosecutor’s Office will accuse her of six tax crimes because she defrauded two taxes (income tax and assets) in each of the three years.

Lowering the sentence to less than two years —which allows requesting the suspension of its execution, that is, avoiding imprisonment— will be more complicated. In general, the accusations apply mitigating circumstances (acknowledgment of the facts, repair of the damage and others) to make it possible, since the fundamental objective is not to imprison the famous person, but to collect what was defrauded (Shakira has already consigned the 14.5 million euros in court) and impose a large fine that generates income for the public coffers.

His defense is now turning to that mission of reaching a good agreement, or at least one acceptable to Shakira. The change in strategy has also caused a dance of names, so that some lawyers —those most prone to negotiation— have gained weight and others have lost it. The possibility of a pact was always presentfrom the first minute, but she decided to fight knowing that at any moment she could get off the car: most of these agreements, in fact, are closed at the last minute, just before heading to the courtroom.

The strategy of fighting allows you to buy time and explore the possibility of a quick victory, but also puts the protagonist through more wear and tear: the artist he had to go testify three years ago. Before the judge, she stuck to the script and assured that until 2015 she did not live permanently in Spain because, due to her work, she was “a nomad without roots”. Shakira’s defense is beginning to knock on the door of the accusations. She does it with the utmost reserve and discretion so that the process does not derail. If there is an agreement, she will still go to trial, but it will be a blink of an eye, just enough to say out loud that she accepts the facts and, perhaps, hear from the judge that she should not go to jail.

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Shakira changes strategy to avoid trial for tax fraud after separating from Gerard Piqué