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Spanish opera star Caballe denies tax fraud

Spanish opera star Montserrat Caballe on Friday denied accusations that she cheated the taxman out of half a million euros owed on earnings from concerts, a judicial official said.

BARCELONA: Spanish opera star Montserrat Caballe on Friday denied accusations that she cheated the taxman out of half a million euros owed on earnings from concerts, a judicial official said.

Visiting the 81-year-old soprano at her home due to her frail health, magistrates questioned her over allegations that she dodged tax on more than 500,000 euros ($690,000) earned from concerts abroad.

The acclaimed Soprano was placed under judicial investigation on April 29, accused by state prosecutors of channelling earnings through a company in Andorra when she lived in Barcelona.

"She denied the accusations" and insisted that at the time she was resident in Andorra, said a spokesman at the Barcelona prosecutors' office, who asked not to be named.

"The singer admitted that she did the concerts, but says they had nothing to do with that company," the spokesman said.

Despite denying the allegations, Caballe paid 300,000 euros to the tax authorities this week, the spokesman said, adding that this could be a mitigating factor in the case.

Barcelona-born Caballe toured the world in a career spanning 50 years and came to worldwide prominence when she recorded a song with Freddie Mercury for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

In October 2012, the singer suffered a minor stroke and broke her arm while in Russia and was flown to hospital in Barcelona.

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