- Title: SPAIN: FOOTBALL/SOCCER: Lionel Messi arrives at court to face tax evasion charges
- Date: 27th September 2013
- Summary: BARCELONA, SPAIN (SEPTEMBER 27, 2013) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MEDIA OUTSIDE COURT IN GAVA, CLOSE TO BARCELONA WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR LIONEL MESSI ENTERING COURT MEDIA OUTSIDE COURT
- Embargoed: 12th October 2013 13:00
- Location: Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Crime,Science,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA123B9V3CQ7YAP1OGBVPZH08J4
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Barcelona striker Lionel Messi arrived to court on Friday (September 27) to answer charges of tax evasion.
The court will hear allegations that both Messi and his father Jorge withheld more than four million euros ($5.3 million) by filing incomplete tax returns for the years 2006 to 2009.
His father Jorge Messi appeared in court an hour earlier.
The World player of the Year and his father have both denied wrongdoing, and they have already made a "corrective payment" to Spanish authorities of just over five million euros.
According to the prosecutor's office for tax crimes in Catalonia, income from the sale of Messi's image rights was hidden using a complex web of shell companies in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
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