Cristiano Ronaldo appears in court over tax fraud allegations

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Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in a Spanish court on Monday morning in conjunction with an investigation to decided whether or not the Real Madrid and Portugal star committed tax fraud.

Ronaldo, 32, did not speak to the assembled media, of which there were many, outside the court as he left without giving a statement.

The reigning World Player of the Year was summoned to speak with the investigating judge in a private hearing and his testimony will be part of the investigation into whether there are grounds to charge him.

Ronaldo and his representatives have denied the allegations and he previously said “his conscience is clear” when asked about the situation.

In June a Spanish prosecutor accused Ronaldo of tax fraud amounting to $16.5 million from 2011-14. The accusations surround “shell companies” used outside of Spain to hide money made from selling his image rights.

Current and former Barcelona stars Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Neymar and Dani Alves have all faced similar accusations from the Spanish government in recent years.

If the investigation does go to trial and Ronaldo is found guilty then he could face a three-and-a-half year prison sentence, plus a fine of at least $32.8 million.