Sports

MADRID – Spain’s prosecutor’s office in Madrid said on Tuesday it had filed a lawsuit against soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo for allegedly defrauding Spanish authorities of 14.7 million euros (£13m; $16m) between 2011 and 2014, the ESPN reported.


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In a statement on Tuesday, the prosecutor’s office said Ronaldo had knowingly used a “business structure” created in 2010 to hide his income in Spain from his image rights.

The lawsuit is based on a report sent to the prosecutor’s office from Spain’s tax agency AEAT, it said.

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The case is based on four accounts of tax fraud between 2011 and 2014, and relates to the Portuguese player allegedly covering up a chunk of his individual earnings.

The world’s highest-paid sports star had previously said he was not worried about tax investigations as he had nothing to hide.

In December, leaked documents suggested that Ronaldo had avoided tax on income allegedly held in offshore accounts.

He denied the allegations.

When asked about that investigation, he told a journalist from Radio Television Portuguesa (RTP) “Quien no debe no teme”, which roughly translates as “He who has nothing to hide has no fear.”

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Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid sportsperson for the second successive year, according to Forbes’ annual list of the world’s wealthiest people.

He earned $93m (£72.05m) from salary, bonuses and endorsements last year.