There was a time when Princess Cristina of Spain enjoyed nothing but the finest accommodations and the royal treatment whenever she visited Mallorca, a Mediterranean island. But those days are currently behind her. This time, Princess Cristina as well as her husband, are there to face criminal charges for tax fraud.
Tax fraud court experts anticipate that the upcoming trial will take about six months to complete. If Princess Charlotte and her husband are found guilty of tax fraud, the panel of three judges overseeing the case could sentence her to eight years in prison. It’s the first time the Spanish royal family has been put on trial since they were restored to forty years ago.
What has landed the princess in tax court is her use of a real estate consulting firm which the prosecutors are calling a front company. According to the allegations, the couple used the company to embezzle approximately 6 million euros ($6.5 million) in a scheme that goes as far back as 2008. It’s believed that the money was used to host parties, pay for an Arizona mansion, and to cover additional personal expenses.
At the moment, 89 alleged crimes have been filed against the royal couple. No one expects the couple to have anything to say during the early days of the trial.
This isn’t Princess Cristina’s first time in court. In 2014, she made a private court appearance. During that time, the prosecutor handling the case pressed to have her fined, but the judge ruled against it. The judge felt that she should be charged for tax fraud.
Recent reports of the lavish lifestyle Cristina and her husband were able to enjoy as a direct result of the embezzled money haven’t endeared the couple to the Spanish public. As more details of the case have been released, the more the Spanish people have turned against the princess. The fact that the country is struggling financially has made the country’s population question the lavish lifestyle their royal family enjoys and why the country should be forced to pay for such excesses.
Although prosecutors have pressed to not have Cristina indicted, but rather fined, judges would not allow the decision to go through. Since her brother took over the crown, Cristina has been pushed out of the royal family. As Americans, we tend to think that the only people ever accused of tax fraud are the very rich, but in reality anyone who attracts the IRS’s attention can find themselves in tax court arguing about whether or not tax fraud was committed.
The problem with tax fraud is that it’s difficult to determine which cases are done on purpose and which cases are the result of a mistake on a tax return, and the IRS really doesn’t care. The only thing they’re worried about is getting the money they feel they’re owed, which is why if you’re one of the people the IRS accuses of tax fraud, you’ll need a good tax attorney on your side. With a good tax attorney, you decrease the odds of being one of the 2,500 people accused of tax fraud in a given year. Your tax attorney will also help you negotiate a settlement plan and do everything they can to get the fees and interest removed from your balance.