It seems Shakira might be going to trial after all. A court in Spain dismissed her appeal in her tax fraud case on Thursday (May 26), which now could put the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer in court for allegedly failing to pay her taxes.
In December 2018, Spanish prosecutors charged her with tax evasion, saying that she allegedly avoided paying $15.5 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014 by claiming to live in the Bahamas. However, evidence shows that Shakira was a resident in Barcelona during that time.
When she testified in 2019 against the allegations, Shakira denied any wrongdoing. She continues to express that same sentiment today.
“Shakira’s conduct on tax matters has always been impeccable in all the countries where she has had to pay taxes, and she has trusted and faithfully followed the recommendations of the best specialists and expert advisors,” Shakira’s public relations team said in a statement.
According to the Associated Press, the Spanish court said there is evidence that Shakira was “a habitual resident in Spain.” Last year, a judge wrote that there was “sufficient evidence of criminality” for the case to move forward.
The singer’s public relations team said that their client had already paid the taxes that she owed in Spain and that they would continue to “defend her innocence.” If found guilty of tax evasion, Shakira could face a fine and prison time.
Last year, Shakira was one of several celebrities and world leaders implicated in what is being called “the largest trove of leaked offshore data in history.” The documents, known as the Pandora Papers, suggest that Shakira and other high-profile individuals allegedly set up offshore accounts to hide money to avoid paying taxes.