Opera star Monserrat Caballé pays taxman to avoid fraud case going to trial

Spanish soprano is under investigation for allegedly evading €500,000 in income tax Adviser who recommended Andorra financial setup died three years ago, she tells judge

Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé.
Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé.GERARD JULIEN (AFP)

Opera singer Monserrat Caballé has now paid the remaining €200,000 she owed the Spanish Tax Agency in outstanding income tax relating to her 2010 return, judicial sources said Tuesday.

The 81-year-old, who is under investigation for tax fraud, has now handed over a total of €500,000 to the authorities – the full amount they had been requesting.

Caballé says she is innocent of the fraud charges and her defense is trying to reach an agreement to avoid the case going to trial, or to at least have the payment recognized as a mitigating circumstance.

Two weeks ago, a judge visited Caballé at her apartment in Barcelona to take her statement. The Catalan soprano is suffering from mobility problems, and was allowed to speak to the magistrate from her home.

From her bedside, Caballé told the judge that in 2010 she was resident in Andorra and only went to Barcelona to visit her doctor or take a flight.

A complaint filed by the Economic Crimes Attorney’s Office states that the singer managed a series of musical performances in Europe through a company based in the principality, which allowed her to avoid paying income tax. Caballé explained to the judge that the adviser who had suggested the tax setup to her died three years ago.

As well as having to pay the outstanding tax owed, the opera star also faces a fine of up to six times the defrauded amount.


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