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Thread: Messi and father accused of tax fraud in Spain

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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    Default Messi and father accused of tax fraud in Spain

    Barcelona's Argentina forward Lionel Messi and his father have been accused by Spanish tax authorities of defrauding the state of more than four million euros but the pair denied any wrongdoing on Wednesday.



    The World Player of the Year and his father Jorge allegedly filed fraudulent tax returns for the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, according to a spokesman for the prosecutor's office for tax crimes in Catalonia.
    "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," Messi wrote in a statement on his official Facebook page.
    "We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advice of our Tax Consultants who will take care of clarifying this situation."
    Messi, who will be 26 this month, is one of the world's highest-paid athletes with a salary of just over $20 million a season, according to Forbes magazine.
    On top of his Barca wages, he pulls in around $21 million in endorsements from sponsors including Adidas, PepsiCo and P&G and he is 10th on Forbes' latest list of top-earning athletes.
    Messi came on for the final half-hour of Argentina's World Cup 2014 qualifier against Ecuador in Quito on Tuesday which ended in a 1-1 draw.
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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    Default Messi may face up to six years in jail

    Lionel Messi`s legal and fiscal council Angel Juarez has stressed the Barcelona star has not been notified that a complaint has been filed over his alleged tax fraud, and added that the attacker`s lawyers are ready for a potential legal battle with the Spanish tax authorities.

    Under Spanish law, Messi could face a maximum penalty of six years in prison if found guilty.

    Prosecutor Raquel Amado is investigating claims that the Argentine and his father have avoided paying the charges due from sales of the 25-year-old`s image rights by operating through companies based outside of the country, and filed a complaint with the courthouse in the Gava district of Barcelona on Wednesday.

    On Wednesday, Messi expressed his surprise at the accusations and is adamant they have not committed any infringement, adding that his legal representatives are equally confident about the outcome of the case.

    "We`d like to express our surprise with the news published by several media outlets. Neither us, nor our client has received any notification from the prosecutor in relation to what has been reported," a statement signed by Juarez reads.

    "As his legal and fiscal council, we will take all the appropriate legal action against the complaint of the prosecutor and we are confident that justice will prevail."

    Notably, the 25-year-old Messi has won four straight FIFA world player of the year awards. He has scored 133 goals for Barcelona over the last two seasons and helped it win its fourth Spanish league title in five seasons this year.
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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    Default Messi summoned by judge in tax fraud case

    Argentina forward Lionel Messi and his father Jorge were ordered on Thursday to appear before a Barcelona court in September after Spanish prosecutors accused the pair of tax fraud.

    Earlier in the day, Spanish media reported that an examining magistrate had brought official charges against the Messis but a writ showed the two had been summoned to give evidence.

    The magistrate has accepted a complaint from the Catalonia tax crime prosecutor, who has accused Barcelona's World Player of the Year and his father of defrauding the Spanish tax office of more than 4 million euros.

    "The judge has accepted the complaint presented by the prosecutor against Lionel Messi and Jorge Horacio Messi for three alleged crimes against the tax authorities," a statement from the Barcelona court said.

    "The acceptance of the case is the next step after a complaint is presented. The court can start to investigate and reach a conclusion as to whether a crime has been committed or not.

    "The magistrate has called the accused to give evidence on September 17."

    In the Spanish legal system, if the magistrate determines there is sufficient evidence to bring charges, he or she will do so and then proceed with a pre-trial investigation.

    The complaint relates to the three tax periods of 2007, 2008 and 2009, the court said.

    Two weeks ago, the prosecutor's office said income from the sale of Messi's image rights was effectively hidden from Spanish authorities via a complex web of shell companies in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    The pair could face up to four years in jail if found guilty, according to Spanish law.

    "We learned about the action begun by the Spanish prosecutor through the media," Rosario-born Messi, who has been resident in Barcelona since 2000 and gained Spanish citizenship in 2005, wrote in a statement on his official Facebook page at the time.

    "It is something that surprises us because we have never committed any offence."
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


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