Messi cleared in Barcelona tax fraud case

Footballer cleared of wrongdoing but prosecutors seek 18-month prison sentence for his father.

    Messi cleared in Barcelona tax fraud case
    Messi and his father made a voluntary €5m 'corrective payment' in August 2013 [EPA]

    Barcelona prosecutors have cleared footballer Lionel Messi of wrongdoing in a tax fraud case but are calling for the arrest of his father.

    Prosecutors are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for Jorge Horacio Messi for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09.

    A Spanish judge had recently rejected an appeal filed by the player's lawyers to drop the Barcelona star from the case.

    In the documents made public on Tuesday, prosecutors also called for a fine of $2.2m for the father of the Argentina playmaker.

    Jorge avoided paying tax on his son's earning by using offshore companies between 2007 and 2009, according to the prosecutors.

    The El Pais newspaper reported that the footballer's lawyers argued that the Barcelona star had "never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing" the contracts.

    But the high court in Barcelona had, in June, ruled that he should not be cleared for not knowing what was happening with his finances.

    The pair made a voluntary €5m 'corrective payment' in August 2013.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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