Lionel Messi arrested for tax fraud following Panama Papers scandal

Lionel Messi arrested for tax fraud following Panama Papers scandal

Lionel Messi arrested for tax fraud following Panama Papers scandal A soccer star has been convicted of tax fraud, but he won’t be serving time in prison.

Lionel Messi, the Argentinian soccer star who plays for Barcelona, has been found guilty by a Spanish court of three counts of tax fraud. Messi was fined 2 million euros and sentenced to 21 months in prison. However, it’s customary in Spain that those sentenced to under two years in prison for nonviolent offenses don’t actually serve any jail time.

The court also found Messi’s father guilty, sentencing him to 21 months and fining him 1.5 million euros.

Messi and his father were accused of defrauding the Spanish government of 4.2 million euros in taxes between 2007 and 2009. They allegedly evaded taxes on income from Messi’s image rights by using a web of shell companies, which were revealed in the notorious Panama Papers expose this spring.

Messi said during the trial that his father handled his financial affairs and he had no knowledge of the evasion. The court, however, said that wasn’t sufficient excuse to avoid charges.

Messi, a five-time World Player of the Year, is 10th on Forbes Magazine’s list of the world’s highest-earning athletes in the last decade. His estimated income over the last 10 years was about $350 million, according to CBC News.

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  • Murray Schultz 2016-07-06 8:44:46 PM
    Wow, total lack of attention paid to who may have been advising the Messis in this "tax minimization" plan. There were, no doubt, lawyers, accountants and other hangers on, all taking a piece of the action. Should these so-called professionals not be held to a higher standard or is it simply less expensive to prosecute and fine one's own citizens? The Messis should sue the law firm, the advisors and anyone else who got paid for questionable advise and execution - regardless of any disclaimers used by these people to dissuade such action.
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  • Liz C 2016-07-09 3:31:16 AM
    Well so much for the squeeky clean image. I feel for all those kids and parents WHO ARE TAX PAYERS and who looked up to Messi. He's a fraud and a cheat and I don't believe that Messi "had no idea". Are you kidding!!! He makes soooo much money and didnt want to pay 5mil out of his 350Mil earnings!...What a joke. Take him to jail i say....teach him a lesson. People go to jail for lesser illegal activities.
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  • Lubha 2016-07-18 2:38:08 PM
    At least he has paid more tax than you can every pay in your lifetime....the sentance is harsh because he has not harmed anyone. It is his money after all. You can hate but you will never achieve any of the things he has achieved...and so will Ronaldo.
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