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Messi denies all knowledge of his money


06-03-2016 12:52 BJT

Off to Spain now, and Lionel Messi is denying all knowledge of any of his income being held in offshore bank accounts. The 28-year-old was appearing in court accused of tax fraud after Spanish authorities claimed money generated from image rights was being concealed through limited companies based in Belize and Uruguay from 2007 to 2009.


Barcelona's Lionel Messi (C) arrives at the courthouse in Barcelona, Spain, on June 2, 2016. Spain's tax office made 20 inspections during the two-year investigation and both Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, are accused of defrauding 4.1 million euros from 2007 to 2009. (Xinhua/Pau Barrena)

When asked is he had any idea of where his money was going, the striker said, "The truth is no, I didn't know. As my dad explained earlier I just dedicated myself to playing football, I put my trust in my father and in the lawyers who had decided to manage this thing. I didn't have a clue about anything." Messi's father, who is in charge of large amounts of his son's finances, is claimed to have defrauded tax authorities of 4.1 million euros with prosecutors insisting the 3 time Ballon D'or winner of having prior knowledge of the activities. If found guilty the pair could face prison time of up to two years. Both say all tax has been paid in full and deny any wrong doing with the verdict expected to be delivered next week.

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