Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why Messi might go to jail!

According to reports, The Economic Crime Unit of Barcelona has accused Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, and his father, of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009, which could potentially land them in jail.  

The prosecution says, Messi’s father, who is also his manager and agent, created shell corporations in tax havens in Belize and Uruguay and then transferred his son’s imaging rights between 2007 and 2009, only to sign further deals with other shell-corporations to avoid paying taxes on €4.165 million ($5.53 million) in income.

The idea, the prosecution said, was to channel funds from the countries in which sponsors or firms were paying Messi to the shell-corporations without being subject to taxation, and with “total opacity” in the face of the Spanish tax authorities as to who was truly receiving those papers, who was “none other than the accused, Lionel Messi,” in the words of the prosecutor.  Relevant facts were also “omitted” from other tax documents in order to hide from Spain’s tax authorities that these rights were being ceded to corporations domiciled elsewhere.
Messi and his father are accused of three counts of tax evasion.  According to Spanish law, if found guilty they could face between two and six years behind bars, and a fine worth more than $1 million.
Messi in response to the allegation said, ''We are surprised about this news because we have never committed any infringement," the striker said in an English-language statement released on his Facebook account.
"We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advice of our tax consultants who will take care of clarifying this situation,".

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