One of the most famous and best footballer ever, Lionel Messi is facing a tax fraud case in Spain along with his father Jorge Horacio Messi. Messi and his father appeared in court this Friday and were questioned separately.
The case was filed by a Spanish state prosecutor in the month of June which stated that Messi and his father had tried to hide their warnings from player’s image rights. The complaint also indicated that the football star also owes about 4 million euros in back taxes during 2007 to 2009.
Although Lionel Messi father made a 5 million euros payment in the month of August for alleged taxes and their interest but still the hearing was conducted to check if their were any indications of fraud. Both Messi and his father has denied the allegation of making any tax fraud.
Cheered by fans and with a smile on his face, not Lionel Messi does not look like a man faces a fine and possible jail time multi-million euro when he arrived to face questions court judge in the case of tax evasion on Friday.
Barcelona star gave answers to about half an hour after that was also questioned his father Jorge Horacio Messi . After that they were transferred away in separate cars , Messi lawyer spoke briefly outside the courtroom No. 3 in Gava , a quiet seaside town just south of Barcelona near the headquarters of Macy ‘s .
“We have the Macy’s family wanted to work with transparency and clarity and a sense of cooperation , and this is the way things went today as well,” said Martel Cristobal , Messi lawyer .
“It was clear that there was little intention of committing fraud and a great desire for normalization of the situation with the tax office and not to get involved in a fierce battle with the state in an attempt to explain the current tax laws . ”
He said a complaint by the Attorney General of the Spanish state in June Messi and his father tried to hide profits from image rights player. The complaint alleged owed by the Argentina international 4 million euros ( 5.3 million dollars) in back taxes for 2007 , 2008 and 2009 .
Messi ‘s father made to pay more than 5 million euros ( $ 6.6 million) on Aug. 14 to cover the alleged delinquent taxes and interest . That the payment led the court to decide that neither Messi nor his father for the publication of bail.
Was heard on Friday to see if there were clear indications of illegality . If so , then the judge could recommend to be tried in the case, preventing a settlement out of court .
MLS: New York Red Bulls eye elusive trophy
If the case goes to trial , Macy’s , and found his father guilty , they could face a fine of up to 150 percent of the amount of back taxes and the possibility of jail time.
In the complaint, the State Prosecutor’s Raquel Amado claims 2006-09 Messi “get significant revenue derived from the transfer to third parties of his image rights , and income which should be taxed . ” Says the complaint Messi ” circumvent tax obligations to him ,” using the fake companies in tax havens such as Belize and Uruguay.
He denied Messi and his father always denied any wrongdoing . They received support from the Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and the former president Joan Laporta , who was president of the club during the years covered in the complaint.
Messi, arrived wearing a suit but no tie , looking relaxed in the courtroom after an hour of his father.
Messi praised by a group of fans and curious passers – by that has grown to about 50 people, many of them children , along with about 100 journalists and photographers .
Upon leaving the courtroom, many fans were chanting ” Messi ! Messi ! ” And a small number of teenagers chased his car , which sped away on a sunny street .
A Tale of Two Clubs: How Ajax in decline while Barcelona continues to rise
Case apparently does not distract Messi in action. Messi is the joint leading scorer in the Spanish league with seven goals . Barcelona plays Almeria on Saturday looking to maintain its leadership of the University.
Messi is aged 26 years old and widely the best player of his generation after winning several titles with Barcelona and the highest individual award , the player in the world this year , a record four years in a row .
Messi was rated by Forbes magazine as the 10 highest – paid athlete in the world. He said he earned $ 41300000 to June of this year , $ 20.3 million coming from the club salary and $ 21 million in support.
Messi was soft-spoken abstained from the scandal in his career very successful .
Spain has been trying to crack down on tax evasion as it fights to reform the country ‘s public finances amid double-dip recession .
Warned Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro football players in April, they should make sure it is “comfortable” with tax affairs . In the past year paid to former Barcelona player Luis Figo € 2450000 in taxes on human image 1997-99 .