Updated 07:40 AM EDT, Sat, Oct 23, 2021

Princess Cristina of Spain Charged with Tax Fraud & Embezzlement

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Today, Princess Cristina of Spain becomes the first member of the royal family to be put in trial. According to Royal Central, the princess makes history by facing charges on tax fraud and partaking in an alleged embezzlement scam with husband Inaki Urdangarin.

King Felipe VI's sister is accused of assisting Urdangarin in using his non-profit sports foundation Noos Institute to acquire fallaciously inflated contracts from regional government entities that BBC says amounts to more than €6m (£4.4m or $6.5m).

Urdangarin purportedly used his real estate company Aizoon (where the princess was a co-owner) to launder the money acquired from the fraudulent foundation. Princess Cristina, who was a board member for Noos Institute, denies the fraud allegations as well the other 16 defendants.

These defendants include Urdangarin's former partner at Noos, Diego Torres, whose participation in the fraud could give him 16 years in jail. Former government minister and former chief of the Balearic Islands regional government Jaume Matas is also involved. Balearic Islands are among the government bodies that donated the most to Noos.

IB Times notes that Matas has already served nine months in jail for corruption charges. In the event his involvement in the scam is officially established, the 61-year-old Spanish politician should be looking at no less than 11 years of jail time.

According to BBC, Princess Cristina attended the trial in Palma, Majorca today and the affair is considered an "embarrassment" to the Spanish Royal Family. When the controversy first broke in 2010, Princess Cristina's family stayed as far away from her and the scandal as possible.

In 2014, King Felipe opted to take away Princess Cristina and her husband's Duke and Duchess of Palma titles. She, however, remains the sixth in the line of succession to the Spanish throne. Nonetheless, she still feels the pang of the Spanish Royal Family's decision to be isolated from the scandal.

Infanta Cristina once told El Espanol via IB Times that "It is very hard to be abandoned by your family."

During the trial, the princess's attorney Miquel Roca advised that the case be dropped for the lack of patronage from public prosecutors. With only private prosecutors on the princess's tail, the defense believes that they will be able to get out of the mess.

Princess Cristina could be facing seven years in jail, while her husband will have 19.5 years of jail time on his hands in the event that he is found guilty of the accusations. The court should reach a decision about the case in four weeks.

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