Pop singer Shakira to face trial over tax fraud in Spain
(CNNMoney.com) — The U.S. pop star Shakira was set to face trial Monday in Spain for allegedly defrauding the Spanish government as she attempted to bring about a tax refund for some of her Spanish collaborators.
Spanish authorities said they want to bring her to trial for tax fraud along with three of her associates, the country’s public prosecutor’s office said.
The complaint, filed by lawyer Enrique Zuloaga, alleges that Shakira and others defrauded the Spanish treasury by “using company funds to acquire property abroad and to lease a studio within Spain,” the prosecutor’s office said.
The complaint “is the result of our efforts to recover the losses caused by the commission of public and private crimes,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Shakira’s record-setting career began in the nightclub scene. She released two studio albums on her own label, Shakira Records, in the late 1990s and has released six studio albums on her own in Spain’s regional language.
A spokeswoman for the star’s record label said they were aware of the complaint but declined to comment on it.
Spain’s government spokesman, Javier Fernandez, said he could not immediately confirm the details of the complaint, which was first reported by French newspaper Le Parisien.
“What we want is that the Spanish citizen be responsible for all the financial consequences of the actions that have been attributed to her,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
It added that the complaint could be seen as an attempt to “blackmail Spain” into providing a “financial compensation” for “an act that is completely against the principles of the company law in Spain” and “of the freedom of expression.”
“We will continue as long as we can with the investigation and the fight against all forms of corruption and tax evasion in Spain, including the tax evasion committed by the singer Shakira,” Fernandez said.
According to the complaint, Shakira defrauded the Spanish treasury in three ways related to her recording activities.
Her record company in Spain, Viva Records, had paid the Madrid government about $5,200,000 for services, royalties and other benefits from 1995 to 2002.