The Barcelona soccer great Lionel Messi and his father is likely to avoid jail time if found quilty but a verdict will probably be confirmed next week but, even if Messi is able to avoid conviction, his tax troubles might not be over.
In the case the government prosecutor is calling for a 22 months 15 days of prison sentence for both Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi. It is likely they will avoid jail time if found guilty and instead be fined and made to forfeit possible future tax benefits but they also appear in the Panama Papers. The documents showing the pair purchased an offshore shell company the day after the announcement of charges that prompted this trial.
From 2007 to 2009 defrauding Spain’s tax authority of 4.1 m Euros is the subject of the case although Messi denied having knowledge of the tax issues that led to fraud charges against him, saying he signed documents without reading them because he trusted his father and the advisers responsible for managing his finances.
“I didn’t know anything,” Messi said. “I only worried about playing football.”
He spoke for less than 15 minutes and said he never suspected of any wrongdoing when his father would ask him to sign contracts or documents. He signed what his father told him to sign and trusted him, he said.