Cristiano Ronaldo was fined almost $21.6 million for tax fraud on Tuesday but will avoid serving a 23-month prison sentence.
The Juventus forward, who played for Real Madrid from 2009 to 2018, agreed to settle the case by paying an €18.8m fine and accepting a suspended jail sentence.
Ronaldo will not have to serve time in prison because judges in Spain can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders.
?? @Cristiano Ronaldo has officially pleaded guilty to tax fraud.
? @Cristiano was accused of using shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights.
? He has received a two-year suspended sentence.
? He has also accepted a fine of €19m.
? Wow. pic.twitter.com/fbp9a7bJxi
— SPORF (@Sporf) January 22, 2019
Ronaldo arrived in a black van and was wearing sunglasses, a black sports coat, black pants and white tennis shoes. He stopped to sign an autograph before walking up some stairs leading to the court house. He was accompanied by his lawyers and his partner, Georgina Rodriguez. Police officers escorted him.
A few hundred journalists waited outside but the Portuguese player did not stop to talk.
The court had dismissed Ronaldo’s request to enter the building directly from the parking lot, which would have allowed him to avoid the media. The request was made for security reasons, but the court said it didn’t think the measure was needed despite the player’s notoriety.
Court officials said Ronaldo didn’t make any comments while in the courtroom to sign the agreement.
Smiling on his way out of the court house, he again stopped to sign autographs for a few fans who were wedged among the journalists.
Ronaldo made the deal to plead guilty with Spain’s state prosecutor and tax authorities last year.
One problem down, a few to go..