Cristiano Ronaldo Accused Of Being A Serious Tax Cheat

What he allegedly owes Spain's tax office isn't chump change.

Spanish prosecutors say Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo set up a shell company in the Virgin Islands to help evade paying $16.5 million in taxes, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Ronaldo was accused of four accounts of tax fraud in a four-year span starting in 2011.

According to the prosecutor’s statement cited by AP, the shell company was set up to “create a screen in order to hide his total income from Spain’s Tax Office.”

The prosecutor, which filed a lawsuit against the prolific goal-scorer, also accused the Portuguese star of falsely reporting income as if it were generated from real estate, thereby reducing his tax percentage, according to the Guardian.

Ronaldo is one of the richest and most decorated players in soccer history.

According to Forbes, he made $93 million over the last 12 months to retain his standing as the world’s highest-paid athlete.

Last year he won his fourth Ballon d’Or, placing him within one of the amount won by his rival, Lionel Messi of Argentina.

Now the two are linked by tax woes from income generated in Spain. A Spanish court convicted Messi, who plays for Barcelona, and his father of tax fraud in 2016 but the two avoided actual time in prison despite receiving 21-month sentences.

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