Opera megastar must plead guilty and pay fine to avoid jail time.
Earlier this year it was revealed that opera megastar soprano Montserrat Caballé had been charged with tax evasion for failing to pay over half a million euros to the Spanish government while also falsifying legal declarations about her place of residence in order to dodge the eye-watering tax bill. The outstanding €500,000 payment is owed from earnings of nearly €2 million from performances in 2010, which were illegally handled through banks in the tiny Principality of Andorra on Spain’s northernmost border.
After several tense months, Caballé has now finally struck a deal with Spanish authorities that will likely see her avoid any jail time. The world famous singer will be required to plead guilty to Tax Fraud and pay a sizeable fine. Prosecutors are anticipated to seek a reduced jail sentence, but since Caballé has no previous criminal convictions, and taking into consideration her status as one of Spain’s most revered cultural icons, the likelihood of her spending any time behind bars is very slim. Caballé has already paid the outstanding sum of approximately €508,000, but she is expected to be fined up to an additional €250,000.
The 81 year old singer has suffered from poor health for several years, including a stroke in 2012 while in Moscow for a performance. Her frail condition has meant she has been unable to attend court appearances this year, instead answering questions from the judge and prosecutors while remaining at her home in Barcelona. Court documents have revealed Caballé’s claims that she was unaware of how tax from her income was being handled as it had been the responsibility of a tax adviser who has since passed away.