Spanish courts drop tax charges against Lionel Messi

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Lionel Messi will not face charges in Spanish tax case

SPANISH prosecutors will not pursue a case against Barcelona footballer, Lionel Messi, however they will not be dropping charges against his father Jorge Messi, it was revealed on Tuesday, October 6.

The accusation of defrauding the Spanish authorities of over €4 million was levelled against both men. Lawyers acting on the footballer’s behalf insisted that his father had complete control over financial and contractual arrangements.

Messi’s father is also his agent and they are both alleged to have used offshore companies in Uruguay and Belize from 2007 to 2009 to avoid paying tax on his earnings.

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A high court ruling in Barcelona in June declared that Messi should not be given impunity for being unaware of the state of his finances. Now, however, the Argentina national is free of the charges.

Messi’s father, on the other hand, may yet face a prison sentence of up to 18 months and a €2 million fine.

The pair made a payment of €5 million in August 2013, voluntarily, to account for the alleged figure of unpaid tax with interest.

The controversy surrounds income connected to image rights in contracts the footballer has with brands including Adidas, Banco Sabadell, Danone and Pepsi Cola.

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