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Cristiano Ronaldo agrees to pay $21.8M in tax evasion case to stay out of prison

June 19, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Cristiano Ronaldo agrees to pay $21.8M in tax evasion case to stay out of prison

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Soccer megastar Cristiano Ronaldo has reached an agreement with tax officials in Spain to “serve” two years in prison and cough up an 18.8 million euro (or USD $21.8 million) penalty in a tax evasion case.

However, the Real Madrid and Portugal international is not likely to serve jail time under the agreement because of Spanish policy states that a sentence of under two years for a first offense can be completed on probation, according to the Daily Mail

The 33-year-old Portuguese superstar, who faced accusations that he evaded the payment of 14.7 million euros in taxes, had refuted the accusations.

Cristiano Ronaldo is currently representing his native country of Portugal in the World Cup in Russia, netting a hattrick in the opening match against neighboring rivals Spain.

Spanish have begun to crack down on tax evasion among famous soccer players.

Ronaldo’s competitive rival, Lionel Messi was given a 21-month prison sentence last year on related charges but, under Spanish law, managed to exchange the sentence for a fine.

Between 2005 and 2010, foreign soccer stars in Spain were safeguarded under the “Beckham law” which permitted them to curb their taxes. However, as the financial crisis grew more dire, that exemption was lifted, leading the way for the cases.

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