LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Barcelona’s star player Lionel Messi and his father will stand trial for for three counts of tax fraud.
Earlier reports that the prosecution in the case would solely go after Messi’s father have been refuted, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.READ MORE: LA County's COVID Hospitalizations Climb Back Above 600
The Treasury in Spain believes that Messi acted “consciously and voluntarily” in the alleged tax fraud scheme.
Messi and his father could each face up to 22 months in prison as well as a fine of over $4 million U.S. dollars.READ MORE: Woman Struck While Fighting Off Burglars Ransacking Her Bellflower Home
According to Forbes.com, the complicated case began in 2013, when “a complaint was filed alleging Messi’s father initiated a scheme using a series of shell companies in tax havens to shield royalties and other licensing income from Spanish income tax.”
Messi’s endorsement contracts from companies like Pepsi-Cola, Adidas, and Procter and Gamble, “were allegedly funneled to Belize and Uruguay through an elaborate maze including the U.K. and Switzerland which allowed the pair to avoid paying nearly $5.5 million in taxes,” Forbes reported.
Messi recently sustained an injury to his knee which has sidelined him since September 26th.MORE NEWS: Top News Stories You Might Not Have Heard About This Week
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