Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi today had his tax evasion appeal rejected and thus will have to stand trial for allegedly defrauding authorities over a tax amount totalling €4.1 million between 2006 and 2009.
The 27 year old forward and his father – who also doubles as his agent – paid €5m to the Spanish authorities in 2013 as a “corrective payment”.
Leo Messi maintains that he was unaware of the tax and financial management that was taking place.
He and his father will now have to go to court despite reportedly paying the Spanish authorities a sum total of €53m in a bid to correct the situation.
The footballer and his father are suspected of avoiding paying Spanish tax by using companies in Belize and Uruguay to sell the rights to use Messi’s image.
Jorge Horatio Messi is alleged to have created a network of companies when Messi was younger in order to sidestep the Spanish authorities.
It was used to simulate the handing over of the player’s image rights, thus allowing him to pay less tax on the multi-million-euro advertising contracts he landed.
The news was reported on Wednesday lunchtime by Spanish media outlet El Pais.