Messi to face trial for tax fraud
10 June 1015, Nirapad News: Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Messi are under investigation for three alleged tax frauds over the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, when they are accused of avoiding paying the correct amount of tax on commercial earnings through the sale of image rights to third parties and overseas entities.
Barcelona star Leo has always denied any knowledge of the alleged offences, and is understood to have paid as much as £11million in corrective payments and supplementary declarations for the years since in a bid to help clear his name.
But a hearing in Barcelona has ruled that whether the player was conscious of the fraud or not is something to be decided at trial, where he will be in the dock.
The defence claims that the Argentina skipper, who is currently in Chile with his national team ahead of the Copa America, “has never dedicated a single minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” his contracts. However, the judgement from magistrates was that Messi ratified the deals once he was of age, as well as being an official administrator of one external company. Therefore he too must stand trial.
Jorge Messi last year absolved his son from all blame, but was unable to persuade the authorities from pursuing the star.
“I’ve always said that Lionel has nothing to do with it, so there is no reason to talk about it. Besides, my lawyers are already dealing with it and it’s to do with me, not Leo.
“People don’t know him. He’s a very normal guy, like any other. He’s a family man, has fun￼, and tries to enjoy himself.”