Cristiano Ronaldo settles tax evasion with US$22m fine

The soccer icon also given two-year suspended sentence.

Cristiano Ronaldo settles tax evasion with US$22m fine

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Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has been fined €3.2 million (US$3.7 million) and handed a two-year prison sentence as part of a tax evasion settlement with the Spanish authorities.

The 33-year-old is accused of evading €5.7 million  (US$6.6 million) in taxes. He has always denied the allegations, but agreed to a settlement having left Madrid to join Italian giants Juventus.

As well as the fine imposed by the court, the Juventus forward will have to repay €5.7 million owed in image right taxes, a further €1 million (US$1.1 million) in accrued interest as well as a daily sum of €250 (US$292) for the duration of his 24-month sentence. The sum of the fines is set to reach €18.8 million (US$22 million).

Owing to Spanish law, Ronaldo is unlikely to have to serve any of his custodial sentence, with regulations stating that first offenders can serve their sentences on probation if their sentences are less than two years in length.

Ronaldo was also accused of evading €14.7 million (US$17.1 million) on image rights income between 2011 and 2014. Prosecutors claimed that he had used countries with low corporate tax rates such as Ireland and the British Virgin Islands to exploit the system.

Ronaldo is the latest in a long line of top La Liga players to have issues with their image rights and tax payments, with Lionel Messi, James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao, Fabio Coentrao and Angel di Maria having faced similar controversy.