LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to be unconcerned despite being accused by a Spanish state prosecutor of defrauding the government of millions of euros (dollars) in unpaid taxes.
“My conscience is quite clear, brother. Always, man,” Ronaldo said Wednesday as he walked from a Portugal team bus into the Lisbon airport.
Ronaldo and the rest of Portugal’s team are flying to Russia to play at the Confederations Cup as European champions.
On Tuesday, a Spanish state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 totaling 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million). The prosecutor said Ronaldo used a shell company in the Virgin Islands to hide the true amount of income made from image rights, among other means of illegally reducing the amount of taxes he paid.
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Ronaldo’s agent denied any wrongdoing.
Also Wednesday, Real Madrid issued a statement saying that it was convinced Ronaldo “will demonstrate his complete innocence.”
“Real Madrid expresses its complete confidence in our player Cristiano Ronaldo, who we understand has acted within the law as far as complying with his fiscal obligations,” the statement said.