2 June 2016
Following the controversial #PanamaPapers Scandal, the reigning World Footballer of the year and Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi, 28 stood trial at a court in Barcelona on charges of fraud and tax evasion.
Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, were accused to have used fake ‘ghost’ companies to avoid paying tax on over 4 million euros (almost a billion in naira).
Both father and son face three counts of tax fraud and 22-and-a-half months of imprisonment if found guilty, as well as a fine equivalent to the amount defrauded plus interest.
The five time World Footballer of the year spoke out in court, claiming he had no involvement in the day-to-day running of his finances, leaving it instead to his lawyers to handle.
“I only worried about playing football,” Messi told the judge. His father also denied the charges.