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Lionel Messi to Testify over Spain Tax Fraud


Soccer star Lionel Messi is due to give evidence in a Spanish court on tax fraud charges.

The Argentina and Barcelona professional player and his father Jorge Messi, who manages his financial affairs, are accused of defrauding Spain of more than €4 million ($4.5 million) between 2007 and 2009.

Spain’s authorities allege that the two used tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights.

The tax agency is demanding heavy fines and prison sentences. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Lionel Messi is to face trial for alleged tax evasion

Lionel Messi is to face trial for alleged tax evasion

The trial began on June 1, and June 3 is expected to be the final day. A verdict is not expected until next week.

Evidence is being considered regarding income related to Lionel Messi’s image rights, including contracts with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter and Gamble, and the Kuwait Food Company.

Lionel Messi’s lawyers had argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analyzing” the contracts.

However, the high court in Barcelona ruled in June 2015 that the football star should not be granted immunity for not knowing what was happening with his finances, which were being managed in part by his father.

Lionel Messi and his father made a voluntary €5 million ($5.6 million) “corrective payment” – equal to the alleged unpaid tax plus interest – in August 2013.

Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.