Authorities in Spain are moving forward with their prosecution of soccer super-megastar Lionel Messi for tax evasion, reports say. A judge rejected prosecutors’ requests to limit the case to Messi’s father, who apparently handles his finances. (Messi is Argentinian, but plays professionally in Barcelona.) From the Spanish sports daily Marca:
The judge rejected calls by prosecutors to dismiss the case against Leo Messi and to only try his father because he believes that there is “sufficient reason” to suggest that the player “could have known about and consented to the creation and maintenance of a fictitious company structure, whose sole aim was to evade the fulfilment of tax obligations resulting from the income generated from the exploitation of his image rights.”
Past reports on the case have said that Messi could theoretically face up to six years in jail if convicted but would likely avoid jail time if he pays a fine.