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Ronaldo to plead guilty to tax fraud

Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo will make an unwanted trip back to Madrid on Tuesday and is expected to plead guilty to tax fraud. Ronaldo will be in the Spanish capital on tax charges related to his time at Real Madrid. The Juventus forward will appear before a judge and receive a suspended two-year sentence as part of a deal struck with Spain’s state prosecutor and tax authorities last year. The agreement will cost him nearly 19 million euros ($21.6 million) in fines.

In Spain, a judge can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders. In 2017, a state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011 to 2014 worth 14.7 million euros ($16.7 million). Ronaldo was accused of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights. After being questioned for nearly 90 minutes in a Madrid court at the time, the Portuguese player told a judge he never tried to avoid taxes.