Cristiano Ronaldo accused of tax fraud by Spanish state prosecutor

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

"There has never been any hiding nor any intention to hide anything".

The Telegram reports prosecutors accuse the soccer star of defrauding Spain's tax office of 1.4 million euros in 2011, 1.7 million euros in 2012, 3.2 million euros in 2013 and 8.5 million euros in 2014.

Tollin ceded the exploitation rights to Ronaldo's image to another company in Ireland, Multisports & Image Management LTD, which actually managed the soccer icon's image while Tollin apparently remained inactive and was kept dormant.

It was recently reported that Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of tax fraud, and the Portuguese's camp has now responded.

The prosecution claims that during those four years Ronaldo would have avoided paying a grand total of €14.7m to the Spanish tax authorities.

Ronaldo took advantage of what is known in Spain as "the Beckham law" - which allows foreign sportspersons to pay 24.75% income tax, rather than the 48% applied to Spanish nationals.

Real Madrid declined to comment and calls to the agency representing Ronaldo, Gestifute, went unanswered.

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The income related to Messi's image rights that was hidden includes endorsement deals with Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter & Gamble and the Kuwait Food Company.

There was no attempt to evade taxes, Gestifute said.

Barcelona's Argentine defender Javier Mascherano also agreed a one-year suspended sentence with authorities for tax fraud last year. With no previous record of tax evasion or other offences, Ronaldo would not spend time in jail - even if he is found guilty of the charges.

The Real star - his club's all-time leading scorer - has also enjoyed a stellar 12 months on the field, guiding Portugal to Euro 2016 success last summer and helping his club win the Spanish league and Champions League in the 2016/17 season.

However, Ronaldo's case is much more serious than his Barcelona rival and three times greater in value than Messi's.

The denial arrives hours after a tax fraud lawsuit was filed against him in Madrid.

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