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Messi and his father accused of a €4 million fiscal fraud by the Spanish Public Prosecutor Office

The FC Barcelona player denies having evaded taxes. “We have not committed an offence” and “we have always honoured our fiscal obligations” stated Lionel Messi in a note published on his Facebook account. On Wednesday, the Public Prosecution Office accused the Argentinean football player and his father Jorge Horacio Messi of not having paid €4 million to the Spanish Tax Agency in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The Prosecution Office believes they hid “important revenue” deriving from image rights and “simulated” signing over the image rights to societies based in fiscal havens such as Belize or Uruguay or with addresses in countries particularly permissive with such societies such as the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

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13 June 2013 12:17 AM

by

ACN

Gavà (ACN).- On Wednesday the Spanish Public Prosecution Office accused the football player Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi of not having paid \u20AC4 million to the Spanish Tax Agency in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The Prosecution Office believes the FC Barcelona player and his father hid \u201Cimportant revenue\u201D deriving from image rights. In addition, the Attorney\u2019s Office also thinks they \u201Csimulated\u201D signing over those rights to societies based in fiscal havens such as Belize or Uruguay or with addresses in countries particularly permissive with such societies that have a double taxation agreement with Spain, such as the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The FC Barcelona player immediately denied that he and his father had evaded taxes. \u201CWe have not committed an offence\u201D stated Lionel Messi in a note published on Wednesday afternoon on his Facebook account.


Messi fully denies the accusations

\u201CWe have learned from the press about the action started by the Spanish Public Prosecution Office\u201D, stated the Argentinean player at the start of the statement referring also to his father. \u201CWe have always honoured our fiscal obligations following the recommendations of our fiscal advisors\u201D Messi stated in the press release. In addition he added that their fiscal advisors \u201Cwill clarify the situation\u201D created by the Prosecution Office.

The Public Prosecutor accuses Messi and his father of evading taxes in 2007, 2008 and 2009

The Spanish Public Prosecution Office has filed a formal complaint against Lionel Messi and his father at the court house of Gavà, the coastal town in Greater Barcelona where the Argentinean star has his residence. The Attorney\u2019s Office informed the court that it believes they have defrauded more than \u20AC4 million over the course of three years. The Prosecution Office believes they should have paid \u20AC1,059,398 in Income Tax in 2007, \u20AC1.572.183 in 2008 and \u20AC1.533.092 in 2009, the first year Messi won the Golden Boot Award. These amounts would correspond to the player\u2019s image rights, according to the formal accusation presented on Wednesday.

The Public Prosecution Office believes that the main brain behind the alleged tax evasion was the player\u2019s father, starting when the player was still underage. Messi\u2019s father could have created a network of phantom companies based in foreign countries to avoid paying taxes. According to the Attorney\u2019s Office, Jorge Horacio Messi could have undertaken the plan with the assistance of Rodolfo Schinocca. However, a dispute between them put an end to their cooperation according to the Public Prosecution views. Furthermore, still according to the Attorney\u2019s Occife, when Lionel Messi turned 18, on the 24th of June of 2005, and after he obtained Spanish nationality a few weeks later, the player \u201Cratified\u201D the tax-evasion strategy started by his father. Between 2006 and 2009, the Public Prosecutor believes Messi was aware that during those fiscal years \u201Che was not paying taxes for the significant revenue deriving from signing over and exploiting his image rights\u201D.

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  • Leo Messi celebrating one of his many goals wearing the FC Barcelona shirt (by Albert Gea / Reuters)

  • Leo Messi celebrating one of his many goals wearing the FC Barcelona shirt (by Albert Gea / Reuters)