Lionel Messi to Face New Tax Fraud Charges

Lionel Messi, Argentinian/Barcelona soccer superstar, who on 10/6/15 had been deemed innocent of tax evasion, is now scheduled to go on trial with his father for tax fraud and faces up to 22 months in prison.

According to Spanish prosecutors new evidence implicates him in tax evasion in 2007-2009. Spain’s tax authorities maintain they have evidence that from 2007-2009 Messi used offshore companies to conceal payments for his “image rights” (name and likeness) which funds were channeled thru off-shore companies in tax havens allowing Messi to conceal income from the image rights and not pay 4.1 m euros in tax (nearly $5m US). Messi has since paid the taxes due but now faces fines and jail

See article below.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to stand trial over tax fraud allegations

By Renato Goncalves, barcablaugranes.com

More problems for Lionel Messi. The Barcelona superstar, who on Tuesday had been deemed innocent over the charges of tax fraud along with his father, has been once again called to appear on court after new evidence allegedly found him guilty of tax evasions eight years ago.

Even a 22-month sentence has been requested by the prosecutor’s office.

Here’s a few more details on the issue, from ESPN FC:

Messi Jr, who is currently sidelined by injury and unlikely to play again until late November, is likely to be called as a witness when the trial eventually takes place.

Since the Messis both appeared in court in the Catalan town of Gava in September 2013, a number of different rulings have been made by judges in both Madrid and Barcelona, with the family’s lawyers and state tax officials taking different various legal steps which have either stalled or advanced the proceedings at various intervals.

The high-profile case has been taken as Spain’s tax authorities maintain that image rights payments made to the player have been channelled through offshore tax-havens, leading to the evasion of €4.1 million in taxes between 2007 and 2009. If found guilty, both Messis could be heavily fined and face prison sentences of up to 22 months.

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