After being named the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes, banking $93 million over the last 12 months, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is being accused of tax evasion.
According to The Guardian, the 32-year-old is accused of defrauding Spain’s tax office of €14.8 million (nearly $16.6 million USD) in unpaid taxes from income he made between 2011 and 2014.
Spanish prosecutors allege that Ronaldo used a shell company in the Virgin Islands to “create a screen in order to hide his total income from Spain’s tax office”.
The report says that he “intentionally” did not declare income of €28.4m ($31.8m USD) related to image rights, declaring just €11.5m ($12.9m USD) of earnings from 2011-14, while his real income was almost €43m ($48.2M USD).
Despite the accusations, Ronaldo’s agents, GestiFute, maintain that he is up to date on his taxes.
“There is no offshore structure for evading taxes … [Cristiano Ronaldo has never] had a tax problem, contrary to what the Spanish prosecutors insinuate. All contractual modifications .. have been made to guarantee that the incomes [Ronaldo derives] fully observe Spanish tax regulations,” GestiFute said in a statement.
While speaking to Radio Television Portuguesa (RTP) in December, Ronald said he “has nothing to hide”.