Portugal captain and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly accepted a suspended prison sentence to settle his tax fraud case.
IA couple of years ago in June, Spanish prosecutors accused the Real Madrid superstar of defrauding tax authorities of €14.8m (£12.9m).
Ronaldo vehemently denied the alleged tax evasion when he appeared in court last summer. However, the case has still not been settled to both parties’ satisfaction.
His initial offer was reportedly rejected last month but sources claim that he has accepted a prison sentence and admitted his guilt, in exchange for a reduced charge.
His punishment includes paying a sum amounting to exactly €18.8m (£16.4m).
Fortunately for the Real Madrid star, since he has no previous convictions, Ronaldo will not serve any time in jail.
Initially, Ronaldo was ordered to pay the complete sum that he allegedly evaded up front. Later, it transpired that an agreement has been reached to pay just €5.7m (£5m).
As for the rest of the pending debt, it will be paid in fines and interests until it totals €18.8m.(2.2 billion).
The agreement hasn’t been signed by Ronaldo and the prosecutors yet, but once done will settle the long-running case.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo is currently playing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. His campaign kicked off when Portugal and Spain locked horns in an Iberian derby. The match ended in a 3-3 draw with Ronaldo scoring a hattrick.
Ronaldo isn’t the only player guilty of tax evasion, In 2016, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi received a suspended 21-month jail sentence. The Argentinian forward was found guilty of defrauding tax authorities of 4.1 million euros (then $4.6 million).
Reports of the deal came hours before Ronaldo scored three goals to give Portugal a 3-3 draw with Spain in their opening match of the World Cup in Russia. The deal has yet to be ratified by Spain’s Tax Office, according to Spanish media.