Messi won’t face tax fraud trial

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will not stand trial on allegations of tax fraud but his father Jorge Messi will, and could face an 18-month prison sentence.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Barcelona cleared the Argentina international of fraud relating to his image rights but the case against his father continues as Jorge Messi was in control of his son’s economic interests.

Jorge Messi had previously taken full responsibility, Sport adds, and the Prosecutor believes Messi’s lack of knowledge of his financial affairs was not intended to defraud the tax office.

Lionel Messi has however been asked to appear as a witness in the case and his father could face an 18-month prison term and a fine of €2m.

It’s alleged tax havens were used to avoid paying more than €4m in tax on Messi’s image rights for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Jorge Messi is accused of setting up a system of tax havens when his son was a minor and that contracts Lionel Messi signed related to the fraud were done so under his father’s instruction, and he did not know what he was signing.

Sport adds that the State Attorney will analyse the decision of the Prosecutor and could still decide to take action against Lionel Messi.

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