Spanish Tax Authorities Hand Cristiano Ronaldo a Red Card
After almost two years of facing off, Cristiano Ronaldo’s match with the Spanish government has ended with a guilty plea to four counts of tax fraud. The soccer star has agreed to pay a $21.7 million fine and serve a 2-year probationary period in lieu of jail time. Like his fellow fraudulent footballers Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Samuel Eto’o found, tax authorities will continue to demonstrate that celebrity athletes are not above the law.
In mid-2017, Spanish tax authorities launched an investigation into Ronaldo, alleging that he underreported his financials related to his image or likeness rights’ deals. As arguably the most famous soccer player in the world, a huge chunk of his earnings derives from his appearance and brand. As #3 on Forbe’s list of the World’s Highest Paid Athletes and #5 on the World’s Highest Paid Celebrities, it’s not a shock that Ronaldo’s finances would undergo a rigorous investigation by Spanish authorities to uncover any wrongdoing.
High net worth individuals and celebrities will continue to face increased scrutiny by tax authorities, both domestically and internationally. Seeing as U.S. celebs such as Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino from “Jersey Shore” and Teresa Giudice from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” have faced harsher sentences, serving actual prison time, Ronaldo may have got off easy.
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