Spanish prosecutor files tax fraud lawsuit against Cristiano Ronaldo

MADRID: Spain's prosecutor's office in Madrid said on Tuesday it had filed a lawsuit against soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo for allegedly defrauding Spanish authorities of 14.7 million euros ($16.48 million) between 2011 and 2014.

The prosecutor's office said in a statement that Real Madrid's Ronaldo had knowingly used a business structure created in 2010 to allegedly hide his income in Spain from his image rights.

This involved a "voluntary" failure to comply with his tax obligations in Spain, the statement from the office's economic crimes section said. The accusations were based on a report from Spain's tax agency, it said.

Real Madrid declined to comment and calls to the agency representing Ronaldo, Gestifute, went unanswered.

Prosecutors alleged that Ronaldo had defrauded the tax authorities of 1.4 million euros in 2011, 1.7 million euros in 2012, 3.2 million euros in 2013 and 8.5 million euros in 2014.

Ronaldo, who is from Portugal, became a Spanish tax resident in January 2010 and in November 2011 opted to follow the Spanish tax regime that applies to foreigners working in Spain, the statement said. ($1 = 0.8921 euros)