Shakira Dodges Jail Time With Settlement In Tax Fraud Case

Shakira won't find herself behind bars any time soon because the musician has settled her tax fraud case

Back in 2018, the "Waka Waka" singer was charged with tax evasion after an investigation claimed Shakira avoided paying $13 million in taxes, according to The Guardian. Prosecutors alleged that Shakira claimed she was living in the Bahamas from 2012 to 2014, but was actually residing in Spain. During this time, she reportedly wasn't paying the required taxes.

Ever since the allegations were brought forth, Shakira has denied her involvement, per E! News. Her team released a statement, sharing, "Shakira has always, including in the period between 2011 and 2014, met her tax obligations in every country she has worked in." The outlet revealed that when Shakira became aware of the alleged tax fraud, she coughed up the money and paid them back. Even though the musician paid back her debts, in 2021, the case continued with a trial after a judge deemed there was "sufficient evidence of criminality," per AP News. With the case moving to trial, the possibility of facing jail time loomed over Shakira. According to NPR, prosecutors were seeking an eight-year prison sentence for the musician in addition to a fine. Lucky for Shakira, she was able to avoid jail time after appearing in court.

Shakira settled the case for her kids

What could have been a lengthy court battle ended in less than 10 minutes. Shakira appeared in court on November 20 and decided to settle her tax evasion case, per NBC News. The "Whenever, Wherever" singer reached an agreement with prosecutors, saying "yes" in acknowledgement of the six counts of failing to pay almost $16 million in taxes to the Spanish government. In the settlement, Shakira will have to pay 7 million euros — $7.6 million — and is under a three-year suspended sentence. Leading up to the case, it seemed like the singer was going to put up a fight, but because of her two sons, Milan and Sasha, she decided to settle.

In a statement obtained by People, Shakira shared, "While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favor, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight." Shakira revealed she did not want to waste her time in a court battle instead of focusing on the things she loved, which included her kids and her career. And even though she may be settling, she still expressed her innocence, saying she's always tried to be a "positive example." Settling the case, however, has allowed Shakira to not only avoid a court battle, but also avoid jail time.