In a surprising turn of events, Colombian pop star Shakira has reached a last-minute deal with Spanish prosecutors to settle her tax fraud case. The agreement, reached just hours before her trial was set to begin in Barcelona, will see the singer pay a €7.3 million ($7.98 million) fine and receive a three-year suspended prison sentence.

Shakira had been accused of defrauding the Spanish government of €14.5 million ($15.7 million) in income taxes between 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors alleged that the singer had used an intricate tax avoidance scheme to conceal her true residency in Spain, despite living there for much of the time.

Shakira has denied the allegations, but she chose to settle the case rather than go to trial. The agreement is seen as a victory for prosecutors, who were seeking a four-year prison sentence for the singer.

This agreement is fair and allows the singer to focus on her family, her career and her humanitarian work,” said Shakira’s lawyer, Pilar Mañé.

The deal is a major relief for Shakira, who faced the prospect of jail if convicted. However, it has also caused some controversy, with critics arguing that the singer has not been held fully accountable for her actions.

This deal sends a message that the rich and famous can get away with tax evasion,” said one tax expert. “It’s a slap in the face for ordinary people who pay their taxes every year.

Despite the controversy, the deal is likely to bring an end to the legal saga that has been hanging over Shakira for the past five years. The singer can now move forward with her career and her philanthropic work, free from the threat of a prison sentence.

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