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Lionel Messi coughs up £4.2m in tax fraud case
by Alex Steger on Sep 05, 2013 at 11:04
Barcelona football star Lionel Messi and his father Jorge have paid a €5 million (£4.2 million) ‘corrective payment’ to Spanish authorities after being accused of filing false tax returns, according to reports.
Reuters reported that the pair paid the sum last month but are still due to appear in court on 17 September.
The prosecutor's office for tax crimes in Catalonia has alleged that Messi (pictured) and his father, who both deny any wrongdoing, hid more than €4m by filing incomplete returns for the years 2006-09.
Reuters reported that the authorities also allege that the sale of Messi's image rights had been hidden using a complex web of shell companies in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The agency quoted Messi as saying: ‘I never take care of that stuff myself and neither does my father. We have our lawyers and our wealth managers to take care of that and we trust them and they will sort this out. The truth is that I don't have a clue about all this and that is why we have people taking care of it.’
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