Cristiano Ronaldo on Tax Evasion; ‘Insects only attack lamps that shine’
Johannesburg, August 2: “What bothers people is my brilliance, insects only attack lamps that shine,” said star striker Cristiano Ronaldo, an accused of tax evasion by Spanish authorities.
Ronaldo made these comments on Instagram on Tuesday, a day after he appeared in a Madrid court in connection with a tax evasion case.
The Real Madrid star has been accused by the Spanish prosecutors of defrauding the authorities of almost 15 million Euros.
The Portuguese spent over 90 minutes on Monday answering the questions of investigating judge Monica Gomez at a closed door hearing in Pozuelo de Alarcon, the wealthy suburb of Madrid where he lives, reports Sport24.
Ronaldo told the judge that he had “never tried to avoid taxes”.
According to a statement in Spanish released by his public relations firm, the 32-year-old Ronaldo told the judge: “I have never hidden anything, and never tried to avoid taxes.”
Ronaldo is accused of defrauding Spanish authorities of €14.7m (£12.95m) between 2011 and 2014.
As per reports, the prosecutor’s office, in a statement, said Ronaldo had knowingly used a “business structure” created in 2010 to hide his income in Spain from his image rights.
The alleged irregularities were in relation to money the Portuguese star had in the Virgin Islands, although officials acknowledged adjustments to this structure in 2014, where the player paid back an extra seven million Euros in tax.
However, the 32-year-old denies any wrongdoing.
“Spain’s tax office knows all the details about my sources of income because we have reported them. I always file my tax returns because I think that we should all file and pay our taxes,” Ronaldo told the judge as per his statement.
“Those who know me know that I tell my consultants that they must have everything in order and paid up to date because I don’t want trouble,” he added.
Last summer, Barcelona legend Lionel Messi also faced similar charges for which he and his father convicted.
Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were handed the jail term last July after they were charged with three counts of tax fraud, which amounted to 4.1 million Euros.