While Cristiano Ronaldo may have been lucky enough to avoid jail time in his latest legal battle, he’s still looking at some hefty fines.
Today, the soccer star pleaded guilty to tax fraud, according to a report from E! Online. The trial was held at Las Audiencia Provincial in Madrid, Spain, and lasted for just about 45 minutes or so. He was photographed entering the trial with girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez by his side.
The 33-year-old was able to avoid going to prison since he was a first time offender. If he did get handed prison time, it was expected that Ronaldo would have had to serve about 23 months in prison. Instead, the soccer star made a plea deal where he pleaded guilty to the tax charges and was ordered to pay $21.6 million in fines. About $16.7 million is from the tax fraud itself while the remainder of the money is from penalties.
The charges against Ronaldo were first brought to light in 2017, but the tax fraud reportedly happened between 2011 and 2014, when Cristiano was playing on the Real Madrid soccer team. He was accused of using shell companies outside of Spain to hide income that he earned from image rights.
At first, Ronaldo denied the charges against him and said that he did not hide money, but he later ended up agreeing to plead guilty to the charges and strike a plea deal in 2018. Ronaldo also requested that he would be granted access to enter the court through a back entrance to avoid a media circus but that request was denied.
But even though Ronaldo is finished with this legal battle, he is still in the midst of another. As the Inquisitr recently shared, the soccer superstar was asked to submit a DNA sample from a rape investigation that he is at the center of. It was alleged that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner raped a Nevada woman in a hotel room back in 2009 and paid her $375,000 to keep quiet.
Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter S. Christiansen, has spoken in the defense of his client, not denying that the sexual encounter ever happened but maintaining that the incident was a mutual decision by both parties.
“Mr. Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature, so it is not surprising that DNA would be present, nor that the police would make this very standard request as part of their investigation.”
Kathryn Mayorga, who is Ronaldo’s accuser, originally reported the incident back in 2009, but she did not disclose the location of where the incident happened or name Ronaldo as the attacker at the time.