MADRID — Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese soccer star, will pay about $22 million in back taxes and fines as part of a settlement reached with the Spanish tax authorities over undeclared earnings from his advertising contracts, prosecutors have said.

The settlement for Ronaldo, 33, follows a preliminary agreement reached last month, shortly before he played for his country in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and then moved clubs and countries, switching from Real Madrid to Juventus in Italy for a fee of about $110 million.

The settlement of 19 million euros includes a fine of €3.2 million for defrauding Spain of €5.7 million in taxes, according to a statement released on Thursday by the office of the attorney general of the Madrid region.

Ronaldo will also have to pay the back taxes, as well as interest charges on the amounts that he failed to make on schedule from 2011 to 2014, when he was playing for Real Madrid.

The player has also accepted a prison sentence of two years, according to the attorney general’s office, but the length means that the soccer star will not serve time in jail. Under Spanish law, first-time tax offenders convicted of a financial crime are spared prison if the sentence is two years or less.

Ronaldo is one of several players who have been investigated by the Spanish authorities and then accused of using offshore companies to avoid paying taxes on their advertising contracts.

Ronaldo has not commented on the settlement. Instead, the player posted on social media a photograph of himself on vacation with his girlfriend, Georgina Rodríguez, with the comment “Holidays with Love!”

In 2016, Lionel Messi, the Argentine star who plays for Barcelona and who is Ronaldo’s primary rival on the global soccer stage, has also been convicted in Spain, along with his father, of failing to disclose some of his advertising contracts. They were sentenced to 21 months in prison, but the same sentencing guidelines meant that neither served any time behind bars.

The sentence for Messi came three years after he and his father had made a voluntary additional payment of €5 million to cover unpaid taxes as well as interest charges, shortly after his advertising deals were placed under formal court investigation.

The Spanish authorities started to investigate Ronaldo’s business deals four years ago. Last year, tax prosecutors announced that they would charge him for fraud in connection with €14.76 million earned from 2011 to 2014.

He was accused of channeling millions of his advertising revenues to undeclared bank accounts via a network of offshore companies, including one established in the British Virgin Islands shortly after he joined Real Madrid in 2009.

In a court appearance last July, Ronaldo denied any wrongdoing and suggested that he was being prosecuted because he was a high-profile figure. “If I wasn’t called Cristiano Ronaldo, I wouldn’t be here,” he told the judge.

Orignially published in NYT.

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