Barcelona Star Lionel Messi Will Stand Trial In Spain Over Alleged Tax Fraud

Barcelona Star Lionel Messi Will Stand Trial In Spain Over Alleged Tax Fraud

Lionel Messi and his father will stand trial in Spain over tax fraud charges, a court has ruled today.

The Barcelona forward, 28, and father Jorge could now face a 22-month jail sentence if they are found guilty of the three charges.

It comes after the judge overseeing the case against the Argentina captain rejected a request by prosecutors to have it thrown out.

The pair are accused of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of more than €4million.

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoided paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi and his father made a voluntary €5million “corrective payment” – equal to the alleged unpaid tax plus interest – in August 2013.

Messi’s lawyers had argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported earlier.

No date has been set yet for the four-time Ballon d’Or winner’s trial.


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