Cristiano Ronaldo will heed the advice given to him by Real Madrid's legal team and pay the outstanding 14.8 million euros owed to the tax authorities next week at the Court of First Instance and Instruction in Pozuelo, Madrid. He has agreed to pay all owed taxes before his court hearing on 31 July, when he is due to present his case to magistrate Mónica Gómez Ferrer. According to his spokesman, "That doesn't mean that Cristiano admits the charges, it is simply his way of showing that he is willing to collaborate".
Serious tax evasion offences carry a minimum two-year prison sentence
However, Article 305 of the Spain's penal code states that payments made in advance have another prurpose: "The judge or jury can reduce the minimum sentence by one or two degrees, on the condition that debts are serviced two months before the defendant has been formally summoned and that he/she makes a judicial admission, recognizing the charges against them". It means that apart from paying the 14.8 million euros, Cristiano must also plead guilty if he is to have his sentence halved or even reduced to one quarter. According to Article 305-bis, tax evasion offences commited via offshore trusts, tax havens, third party asset management instruments, tax-free territories or any other means which are used to disguise the identity of the taxpayer can impose prison sentences of two to six years together with a fine ranging from double to six times the defrauded amount".
Other members of Mendes stable with tax issues
The strategy of making due payments in advance is the first step to reaching an agreement with the prosecutor, and it's the same plan that was used by Fábio Coentrão, Ricardo Carvalho, Radamel Falcao and Ángel Di María - all of whom, like Cristiano, are represented by Jorge Mendes. Mendes has been summonded to the city courthouse in Pozuelo next Tuesday. According to the Portuguese agent's spokesman: "Jorge still hasn't received the notification letter".