Spanish prosecutors are considering whether Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo should face charges over allegations by Spain’s tax agency that he defrauded authorities of €15 million (about AU$22.5 million) over three years.
Spain’s tax office have passed a file to prosecutors, who will decide whether to press charges against the Real Madrid striker.
Prosecutors said on Thursday that they have until the end of June to decide whether to charge Ronaldo, based on evidence from an investigation by tax officials of alleged fraud between 2011 and 2014.
The alleged irregularities were mostly related to money that Ronaldo had in the Virgin Islands.
Tax officials said Ronaldo adjusted his tax declarations and paid an extra six million euros in 2014.
Documents leaked in December suggested Ronaldo had avoided tax on income from image rights allegedly held in offshore accounts, claims of which he denied, BBC reported.
Manchester United’s manager Jose Mourinho was also implicated in those claims, which he also denied.
Prosecutors said that if they decided to charge him, and if the Portugal captain was subsequently found guilty by a court, he would face a prison sentence of at least 15 months.
However, it would be unlikely he would go to jail as a first-time offender.
This comes just days after Spain’s Supreme Court confirmed a 21-month prison sentence handed down to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi who had his appeal against tax fraud dismissed.
Messi did, however, escape a jail term, with a suspended sentence.
His father Jorge, who manages his finances, was also convicted of tax fraud in 2016.
– with AAP