Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in a Madrid court today, and was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of tax fraud.
The 33-year-old, who initially denied all claims of the crime, has now pleaded guilty to tax fraud to the tune of €14.7 million (R232 million) in relation to image rights between 2011 and 2014.
Ronaldo had to appear in a Madrid court today to settle the case, and was given a two-year suspended prison sentence, as is usually the case with first-time offenders in Spain – Spanish law dictates that jail sentences of 24 months and under are to be suspended for first-time offenders, like Ronaldo, who will not actually go to prison unless they break the law again.
In addition, the superstar was also told to pay €18.8 million (R297 million) in fines. He has been found guilty of using tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands and Ireland to avoid having to pay tax due on his image rights in Spain.
Ronaldo appeared in court today and accepted the sentence, a court spokes person confirmed, as reported by the Mirror.
The Portugal superstar is not the first footballer in Spain to receive such a hefty ruling – longstanding rival Lionel Messi receiving a similar sentence in 2017.
However, Ronaldo’s court troubles are far from over after an investigation over the alleged rape of an American woman, Kathryn Mayorga, in Las Vegas in 2009 was opened in the US last October.