Sean Connery's wife to stand trial over fraud allegations
Actor Sean Connery's wife Micheline Roquebrune has been ordered to stand trial in Spain over an alleged tax fraud.
The 85-year-old James Bond star's spouse faces a two and a half year prison sentence and a fine of more than £16 million if found guilty of charges that she took part in a complex operation to defraud Spanish authorities of nearly £5.5 million during the sale of the couple's home in the Costa Del Sol, Britain's Daily Telegraph reports.
Connery has already been investigated over the issue but was informed last year (14) that he would not face trial following his submission of a 56-page document declaring his innocence.
The couple owned the Marbella home for more than 20 years and after clearing Connery, the judge declared he would continue to investigate Roquebrune because of alleged irregularities.
Connery and Roquebrune now live in the Bahamas and will receive a letter from the court informing them of the situation as well as advising them how to appoint a defence lawyer.
The legal problems centre around their Casa Malibu home, which they listed for sale in 1999 before the property was subsequently demolished. The land received planning permission for five flats in its place, but 70 units were later sold for an estimated £45 million.
Prosecutors allege Roquebrune collaborated with lawyers and businessmen charged in the case - named Operation Goldfinger after Connery's famous 007 movie - to formalise “fictitious legal transactions” so that profits obtained during the sale of Casa Malibu could be hidden from the taxman.
Roquebrune has previously denied the allegations against her.
“These allegations of money-laundering are nonsense,” she said. “We have nothing to do with this. We sold the property and that is it.”
- Cover Media