Messi to Face Tax Evasion Trial

Lionel Messi, Barcelona and Argentina footballer, is to face court trial for alleged tax evasion. A Spanish judge rejected a prosecution recommendation to drop the charges on the grounds that the player’s father was responsible for his finances.

Messi and his father Jorge are accused of defrauding the authorities of more than 4 million euros. They both have five days to appeal against the ruling. It is alleged that they withheld the money between 2007 and 2009.

The income is related to Messi’s image rights, including contracts with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter and Gamble, and the Kuwait Food Company. The judge ruled: “In this type of crime, it is not necessary for someone to have complete knowledge of all the accounting and business operations nor the exact quantity, rather it is sufficient to be aware of the designs to commit fraud and consent to them.”

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