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Oct 10, 2014

Football Star Messi Accused of Tax Fraud…with Belizean Connections

Lionel Messi

We have been reporting on a Belize billion dollar tax fraud scheme which was busted in September at the office of Titans Securities LLC here on Coney Drive. Five persons have been named including a Belizean but so far only two Bahamian stock brokers have been charged. But there is another allegation of tax fraud linked to Belize that is playing out in a Spanish court but has gone unnoticed locally.  It involves the high profile Argentinean  football star Lionel Messi who plays with the Barcelona football club.  A judge in Spain recently rejected a recommendation by the prosecution and ruled that Messi is to face trial. Messi and his father are accused of withholding about five million US dollars in taxes during the period 2007 and 2009. The Messi’s purportedly avoided paying  taxes by using companies in Belize and Uruguay to sell the rights to use the football star’s image in contracts to conglomerates such as Adidas, Pepsi-Cola and Procter and Gamble. Last Thursday he was given five days to appeal the decision by the judge, but we have not confirmed if there is an appeal. The Spanish judge ruled that (quote) “In this type of crime, it is not necessary for someone to have complete knowledge of all the accounting and business operations nor the exact quantity, rather it is sufficient to be aware of the designs to commit fraud and consent to them.” (Unquote)

 

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