Owe, Shakira: Pop star charged with tax evasion in Spain

Pop star Shakira has been charged with tax evasion by Spanish prosecutors, who say she stiffed the government on $16 million in taxes.
Shakira attends the Academy Of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas in 2014.
Shakira attends the Academy Of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas in 2014.Jason Merritt / TERM / Getty Images

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By Dareh Gregorian

Oh, Shakira, Shakira.

Prosecutors in Spain have charged international pop superstar Shakira with tax evasion, charging she stiffed the government out of over $16 million in taxes over a three-year period.

The Colombian native, who has two children with Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique, denied the allegations, and accused the authorities of using her as a scapegoat.

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The charges published in Barcelona Friday allege that Shakira falsely listed the Bahamas as her official residence from 2012 and 2014, when in reality she was living in Spain with Pique. The tax rate in the Bahamas is much lower than in Spain.

Prosecutors say she owes the government over $14.5 million euros — about $16.3 million.

In a statement through her representatives, the "Hips Don't Lie" singer said prosecutors are not telling the truth, and she was not a legal resident of Spain during those years.

She officially moved to Spain in 2015, the statement said.

A magistrate will decide whether prosecutors presented enough evidence to put the songstress on trial. Prosecutors want the Grammy winner to pay a bond of 19.4 million euros — the amount they say she owes in tax, plus 33 percent, in accordance with Spanish law.

Spain's tax authorities referred their probe to the Barcelona prosecutor's office a year ago.

Sports celebrities have also been in trouble with Spanish tax authorities, including soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Associated Press contributed.