06/07/2016 14h25 - Updated 6/07/2016 15h21

Messi and his father are condemned to 21 months in prison for tax fraud

The player and his father would have defrauded the Spanish tax authorities in 4,1 millions of euros (R$ 15 millions) between 2007 e 2009.
Photo: reproduction
Photo: reproduction

A Barcelona court sentenced on Wednesday (6) Argentine playmaker Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, a 21 months in prison each for having defrauded the Spanish tax authorities in 4,1 millions of euros (R$ 15 millions) between 2007 e 2009. The player failed to pay taxes on image rights.

However, to be a sentence of less than two years imprisonment, according to Spanish laws, the penalty will be converted into a fine. The family Messi has deposited in court about 5 millions of euros (R$ 18 millions) to pay off taxes owed, which refers to rights image received by the player in Spain.

The Public Prosecutor had asked for absolution striker considering that their participation was “purely formal” and he was limited to follow his father's directions, for those who advocated a penalty 18 months in jail.

In turn, the State Law, representing the Tax Agency in the country, asked 22 months and 15 days in jail for each. During the trial, Jorge Horacio assumed all responsibility for the case, thesis was confirmed by Messi himself. “I trust my father, I do not know what he signed”, once said.

According to the indictment, the fraud mechanism consisted of “simulate” the transfer of the player's image rights “shell companies based in tax havens”, as Belize. The contracts were signed between these companies and companies also domiciled abroad, as in the UK and Switzerland, to prevent the money spent by Spain.

Like this, companies interested in exploring the image of Messi were forced to hire him by firms based in other countries.

Source: Agency Brazil

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