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Latino Daily News

Tuesday June 24, 2014

Spanish Singer Isabel Pantoja’s Money Laundering Sentence Upheld

The Spanish Supreme Court confirmed Monday a two-year prison sentence for singer Isabel Pantoja on charges of money laundering, but she is unlikely to serve any time behind bars.

Under Spanish law, a convict with no previous criminal record who is sentenced to a maximum of two years is eligible for a suspended sentence.

The initial sentence was handed down in April 2013 by a court in the southern province of Malaga.

Prosecutors had asked the Supreme Court to increase Pantoja’s sentence to three years and three months, which would have automatically meant going to jail, while the artist asked that her conviction be thrown out.

The high court concluded that Pantoja’s involvement in money laundering was a one-time event.

In the same case, Pantoja’s former boyfriend, former Marbella Mayor Julian Muñoz, was sentenced to seven years, while the latter’s ex-wife, Maite Zaldivar, received a sentence of three years and three months.

The court also imposed millions in fines.

Muñoz was ordered to pay close to 4 million euros ($5.2 million), Zaldivar, 2.4 million euros ($3.1 million) and Pantoja, 1.1 million euros ($1.4 million).

Isabel Pantoja, 57, was already a popular singer in 1983 when she became a fixture in the celebrity press after marrying bullfighter Francisco “Paquirri” Rivera.

Her popularity surged after Paquirri was gored to death in 1984, with Spaniards rallying around the woman who became known as the “Widow of Spain.”

Pantoja was arrested in May 2007 at her home in Marbella, a Mediterranean jewel rocked in recent years by corruption scandals.

Known as the preferred Costa del Sol enclave for aristocrats, Arab princes, actors and singers - Antonio Banderas, Bruce Willis and Julio Iglesias are among its denizens - Marbella has also been a locus of real estate speculation over the past 15 years.

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