Spanish judge recommends Shakira face tax fraud trial
Singer Shakira performs, during the halftime show at the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs', Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
BARCELONA, SPAIN -- A Spanish judge investigating alleged tax fraud by Colombian musician Shakira recommended on Thursday that the case go to trial after concluding there is evidence that the pop star could have avoided her fiscal obligations to the state.
Judge Marco Juberias wrote that his three-year probe found there existed "sufficient evidence of criminality" for the case to go to a trial judge.
The decision can be appealed.
Prosecutors charged the singer in December 2019 with not paying 14.5 million euros ($16.4 million) in taxes in Spain between 2012 and 2014, when she lived mostly in the country despite having an official residence in Panama.
Shakira, 44, denied any wrongdoing when she testified in June 2019. Her public relations firm said that she had immediately paid what she owed once she was informed of the debt by the Tax Office.
Shakira faces a possible fine and even possible jail time if found guilty of tax evasion. However, a judge can waive prison time for first-time offenders if they are sentenced to less than two years behind bars.