Media reports this week stated that Infanta Cristina, who is sister of King Felipe in Spain, will be in court this week to face charges of money laundering and tax fraud. Cristina allegedly was involved in the financial crimes committed by husband Inaki Urdangarin, and could get up to 11 years in prison.
The judge on the case, Jose Castro, will issue a summons against Princess Cristina by Wednesday of this week.
The Spanish daily 20 Minutos stated that if she is found guilty, she could get up to six years for money laundering and five for fiscal and tax fraud.
In the criminal case, it is alleged that her husband and a business partner embezzled eight million dollars in public money through the Noos Institute, which is a charitable group that Urdangarin chaired.
Crisina was on the Noos board and she also owned another company jointly with her husband, called Aizoon. Investigators think that Aizoon was a front for money laundering.
In the money laundering charges, the authorities maintain that Cristina accepted, managed and spent millions of dollars of illegal money. She had her palace remodeled and purchased many luxury items.
Spanish tax officials revealed documents last week that showed that Urdangarin did not pay $400,000 in taxes for 2007 and 2008. Urdangarin recently said he would pay back $300,000 to try to get the case dismissed against him. That proposal was rejected by the Spanish government.
Cristina has appeared in court several times with Urgdangarin. She said ‘I don’t know’ 182 times during six hours on the stand. She also said ‘I don’t remember’ 55 times and ‘I don’t know anything about that’ 52 times.
Judge Castro has said that it is unlikely that her husband could have committed such large crimes without his wife’s knowledge.
This is not the first time that Cristina has faced a court hearing. In February, she had to testify in a corruption case that was on the Balearic Islands. She said that she just signed any documents her husband showed her and she completely trusted him.
About Money Laundering
This case shows that other countries, such as Spain, take money laundering just as seriously as in the US. In the United States, both the states and the federal government have strong laws against money laundering. These laws are designed to criminalize illegal activities of large criminal conspiracies that could be involved in many other serious crimes, such as human and drug trafficking.
In the US, fines for money laundering can be up to $500,000, and you can be put in federal prison for up to 20 years. The fine also can be adjusted even higher, depending on the amount of money involved in the crime.