Former singer from pop group Mecano pleads guilty to tax evasion

Ana Torroja will have to pay €1.5 million in fines for three tax offenses but escapes jail time

Ana Torroja arrives in court on Wednesday.
Ana Torroja arrives in court on Wednesday.MONTSERRAT T DIEZ (EFE)

The former singer from Spanish 1980s pop group Mecano, Ana Torroja, pleaded guilty in a Palma courtroom on Wednesday to tax evasion. As a result, she was sentenced to paying the Spanish Tax Agency a total of €1.5 million for three tax offenses, corresponding to the financial years 2003, 2006 and 2007.

She was also given a five-month prison sentence, which she will not serve given that she has no prior criminal record, and will have to pay back taxes for three other financial years, where she evaded less than €120,000 (the amount above which tax evasion becomes a criminal offense).

By reaching an agreement with the court, Torroja managed to avoid a three-day hearing, as well as a public trial. She may also have faced jail time had she not made a deal, given that the solicitor general’s office was demanding that she serve three years and three months in jail.

By reaching an agreement with the court, Torroja managed to avoid a three-day hearing and a public trial

The singer, who shot to international fame along with brothers Nacho and José María Cano in synth-pop band Mecano, has been under judicial investigation since 2007, and was called before a Palma judge for the first time in 2009.

The case was uncovered during an operation against tax evasion that was focused on the consultancy firm Feliu de Palma, where she was a client. Four lawyers from the firm have so far been found guilty of tax offenses that they carried out on behalf of their clients.

In Torroja’s case, the Tax Agency uncovered a web of companies “designed to hide her income and assets,” and argued that she “had attempted to convince the tax authorities that she resided in the United Kingdom.”

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