Cristiano Ronaldo Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud and Avoids Jail Time

The athlete agreed to pay nearly $21.6 million in fines

By Elyse Dupre Jan 22, 2019 1:51 PMTags
Cristiano Ronaldo, Georgina Rodriguez, Court Appearance Europa Press Entertainment/Europa Press via Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo pleaded guilty to tax fraud on Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press (via NBC News), the soccer star received a two-year suspended jail sentence. Per the news outlet, a judge can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders under Spanish law. As a result, Ronaldo will not have to spend time behind bars.

According to the report, Ronaldo agreed to pay nearly €19 million (or about $21.6 million) in fines.

Ronaldo appeared at Las Audiencia Provincial in Madrid with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez.

The charges date back to when Ronaldo was still on his former team Real Madrid. According to the AP (via NBC News), a state prosecutor brought forth the charges in 2017 and accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011 to 2014. While Ronaldo initially denied claims he had hid income from his image rights, he agreed to plead guilty to tax fraud in 2018.

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The athlete reportedly spent about 45 minutes in the courtroom. He wore all black and didn't make any comments regarding the court appearance or his plea. This isn't the only charge Ronaldo is facing. He's also been accused of rape but has denied the allegation.