Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lionel Messi and Father Charged for Tax Evasion

According to El Pais, Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge, have been indicted on tax fraud charges and a court hearing has been scheduled for September 17.
The story originally grabbed headlines last week, when it was revealed that tax authorities in the country claimed Messi and his father, Jorge Messi, owed millions in unpaid taxes in connection with image rights. 
Public prosecutor Raquel Amado filed a complaint at a Barcelona district court on June 12 alleging that the reigning four-time World Player of the Year evaded €4.2 million in tax between 2007 and 2009, the Spanish newspaper reports.

 Messi has denied any wrongdoing - as has his father - and his lawyers issued a statement last week saying that he "has always punctually attended to his fiscal obligations". For the new charge, Messi took to social media site facebook to express his surprise over the rising allegations:
We communicate "We have just known through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities. We are surprised about those news because we have never committed any infringement. We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advices of our Tax Consultants who will take care of clarifying this situation."

The 25-year-old, who is rated by Forbes as the world's tenth highest-paid athlete, reportedly earned $41.3m to June this year; with $20.3 coming from his club salary and $21m in endorsements.
The outcome if Messi is found guilty of tax fraud is not very clear, however, it will be clear after the Sept. 17 court date.