It's gonna get Messi !!
Lionel Messi and his father Jorge have been ordered to appear in court on charges of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of more than €4 million (NZ$6.8 million).
Spain's public prosecutor has recommended a jail sentence totaling 18 months and fines of more than €2 million for Jorge Messi for allegedly defrauding the state of €4.2 million for the years 2007-2009.
Although the prosecutor has argued Lionel Messi should not have to answer the charges as his father oversaw his finances, a court document published on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) showed the judge in the case had ruled he must still appear as a defendant.
The hearings will take place at a court in Vilanova i la Geltru near Barcelona, the document said.
The court had previously ruled that Messi could have known about and approved the creation of a web of shell companies that were allegedly used to evade taxes on income from image rights.
Revenue had been hidden using companies in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, according to the prosecutor's office.
Messi and his father paid €5 million to the tax authorities as a "corrective payment" after they were formally charged in June 2013.
Lionel Messi has been resident in Barcelona since 2000 and gained Spanish citizenship in 2005.
He is 10th on Forbes Magazine's list of the world's highest-earning athletes over the past decade with income of US$350 million.
164 games 164 games
Interesting. From what I read/heard they argue that it was very hard for Messi to keep track of all his money and that the amount he is alleged not to have paid to the tax man is negligible (compared to his overall earnings) and therefore an honest mistake.
But some also argue there is no way he wouldn't have noticed that a lot of his $ was coming through organizations based in off shore bank havens...
Apparently, even if he is convicted he won't go to jail as in Spain that only happens if you receive a conviction of 2+ years.
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