The Leo Messi Foundation has won a lawsuit against the Spanish newspaper ABC after being accused of manipulating their accounts.
As confirmed by Onda Cero journalist Alfredo Martinez, the charitable foundation was successful in its attempt to win damages against the paper, its director and the journalist Javier Chicote who ran the story, with a total payment of €7,142 to be paid out.
La Fundación Leo Messi gana la demanda contra el diario ABC, su director y el periodista Javier Chicote q le había acusado de manipular las cuentas .La sentencia a la que ha tenido acceso @OndaCero_es dice que la información no se ajusta a la realidad y condena al pago de 7142€
— Alfredo Martínez (@Alfremartinezz) October 22, 2020
Last year, ESPN outlined how Federico Rettori, a former employee of Messi’s foundation, had accused it of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering – claims which had been dismissed in September 2019 due to lack of evidence.
It followed 2017 reports claiming the charity has ‘created a framework to hide millions of euros of income generated from sponsors that has not been declared’ which meant that its spend on intended children’s social projects could not be verified.
The reports accused the foundation of ‘masking a large part of its income’ and claims over €10m has not been declared to the Spanish and Argentine governments.
It is reported that income from Non-govermental Organisations (NGO’s) registered in both Barcelona and Rosario – Messi’s home city in Argentina – had not been declared.
Rettori had alleged that Messi’s foundation diverted funds into private activities rather than the social causes it was designed for, but the original account had been dismissed as being based primarily on press stories.