Tax Fraud: trial of Messi begins in Spain

The trial of Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi on tax fraud charges has begun in Spain.

Messi and his father Jorge, who manages his financial affairs, are accused of defrauding Spain of more than $4.5m between 2007 and 2009.

The authorities allege that the two used tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights.

The Spanish Tax Agency is demanding heavy fines and prison sentences.

The income related to Messi’s image rights, including contracts with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter and Gamble, and The Kuwait Food Company.

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