• Spanish prosecutors charged Shakira with tax evasion in 2018
  • They alleged she avoided $14.8 million in taxes between 2012 and 2014 by claiming to live in the Bahamas while actually residing in Spain
  • A Spanish prosecutor asked for an eight-year prison sentence and $23.5 million in fines for Shakira if she is found guilty

A Spanish prosecutor is reportedly seeking a maximum of eight years in prison and a $23 million fine against Shakira if she is convicted in her expected trial for alleged tax evasion.

On Wednesday, Shakira's public relations team confirmed that the 45-year-old superstar has opted to go to trial instead of accepting a deal offered by Spanish prosecutors to settle the charges against her, the Associated Press reported.

Spanish prosecutors charged the Colombian singer — whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll — with tax evasion in 2018, alleging she avoided €14.5 million ($14.8 million) in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014 by claiming to live in the Bahamas while actually residing in Catalonia.

While Shakira claimed she did not live in Spain during that period, prosecutors insisted that the pop singer was ordinarily resident in the country between 2012 and 2014 and said that she bought a home in Barcelona in May 2012, according to a prosecutor's office document reviewed by Reuters,

They said she lived there with her estranged partner Gerard Piqué and their son, who was born in Spain in 2013, according to the document.

At the time, Shakira’s official residence was in the Bahamas, but prosecutors claimed that she spent most of her time in Spain.

The prosecutor's document asked for an eight-year prison sentence and over €23 million ($23.5 million) in fines if she is found guilty. A trial date has not yet been set.

When asked for comment by Reuters, Shakira's representatives referred to a previous statement released by the singer's PR firm Llorente y Cuenca Wednesday, saying that Shakira "is fully confident of her innocence" and that she considers the case "a total violation of her rights."

The Latin pop superstar claimed that she paid the €17.2 million ($17.5 million) that the Spanish tax office said she owed and has no outstanding debt with the tax authorities.

Her publicists in London also released a statement Friday, saying that Shakira "has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer," CBS News reported. The publicists accused the Spanish Tax Agency of violating her rights.

The development in her legal battle comes after it was announced in June that she and Piqué split after 12 years together. They share two sons, Milan, 9, and Sasha, 7.

Shakira Reuters