Ronaldo has ‘clear conscience’ amid tax evasion accusations

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Real Madrid’s striker Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, can be the earth’s highest paid athlete according to Forbes magazine © AFP / Adrian DENNIS

MADRID, Spain, Jun 14 Cristiano Ronaldo insisted Wednesday he had a “clear conscience” after Spanish prosecutors accused Real Madrid’s star forward of evading 14.7 million euros in tax through offshore companies.

“Conscience clear, always,” Ronaldo told reporters at Lisbon airport as he in addition to also also his Portuguese teammates prepared to fly out to the Confederations Cup in Russia.

Real Madrid earlier gave their backing to Ronaldo, releasing a statement saying the club had “full confidence in our player Cristiano Ronaldo, who we understand has acted in accordance with the legality regarding the fulfilment of his fiscal obligations”.

“Since his arrival at Real Madrid C.F. in July 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo has always shown a clear will to fulfil all his tax obligations.

“Real Madrid C.F. are absolutely convinced of which our player, Cristiano Ronaldo, will prove his total innocence in of which process. Real Madrid C.F. expect of which justice can be done as quickly as possible to ensure of which his innocence can be proven as soon as possible.”

The 32-year-old Ronaldo — the earth’s highest paid athlete according to Forbes magazine — follows inside the footsteps of Barcelona forward in addition to also also Argentina star Lionel Messi, who was found guilty of the same offence last year, although the sums involved were allegedly smaller.

If he too can be put on trial in addition to also also found guilty, he risks “a fine of at least 28 million” euros ($31.3 million) in addition to also also could potentially be jailed for three-in addition to also also-a-half years, according to the Gestha union of experts at Spain’s Inland Revenue.

Ronaldo can be accused of “four crimes against the public treasury between 2011-14… which involves tax fraud of 14,768,897 euros”, Madrid’s public prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

“The accused took advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain by his image rights by tax authorities, which can be a ‘voluntary’ in addition to also also ‘conscious’ breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain,” of which said.

Prosecutors accuse the Portugal international of evading tax via a shell company based inside the British Virgin Islands in addition to also also another in Ireland, known for its low corporate tax rate.

In addition, they say he only declared 11.5 million euros of Spanish-related income by 2011 to 2014, while what he actually earned during of which time was close to 43 million euros.

in addition to also also finally, they accuse him of “voluntarily” refusing to include 28.4 million euros in income linked to the sale of his image rights for the 2015 to 2020 period to a Spanish company.

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Ronaldo has ‘clear conscience’ amid tax evasion accusations

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