Convicted in 2016, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi could again be involved in a tax evasion case.
The Football Leaks are back, and this time, Lionel Messi and his clan are in the sights. According to information revealed by Mediapart, the Spanish tax authorities denounced “a new tax avoidance scheme of the Messi clan” with the help of the British company Sidefloor, already involved the first time.
A shell company to reduce its taxes
According to the book Football Leaks 2, Barca paid 10.5 million euros in fees to their agents on the side of the company’s account to improve the search for young talent between 2010 and 2016. The same company allegedly donated the money to LiMeCu, the company of Messi’s father. According to the Spanish tax authorities, this maneuver would reduce the player’s salary, allowing him to pay net tax payments to his father. Some contracts signed by Jorge Messi’s companies strongly recall the paragraphs of certain contracts signed between Barca and Neymar’s father. For these, the Catalan club had already been fined 5.5 million euros.
Barca avoid Messi from prison
At the end of 2016, the club carried out a “voluntary regularization” to avoid criminal prosecution, Mediapart explains, because the Pulga was facing a prison sentence for reoffending. The Catalan club paid Messi’s expenses, a special bonus of 23 million euros added to his annual salary, which was then 100 million euros in 2017. As a reminder, in July 2016, the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced the Argentine genius and his father to 21 months in prison and 3.7 million euros because of his first tax fraud related to his image rights between 2007 and 2009.