Lionel Messi is set to face trial over alleged tax fraud after his appeal was rejected by a judge in Barcelona.
The judge has rejected a prosecution recommendation to drop the charges on the basis that Messi’s father was responsible for his finances.
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.”
Messi and his father are accused of defrauding the authorities of more than 4 million euros. They are suspected of avoiding paying Spanish tax by using companies in Belize and Uruguay to sell the rights to use Messi’s image and thus avoid tax obligations in Spain. In August of last year, they made a corrective payment of 5 million euros, which is equal to the alleged unpaid tax plus interest.
The Moroccan Times.