1 Aug 2014 10:29am

UK shell companies in Messi tax case

Two shell companies, said by the Spanish prosecutor to have been used by Barcelona football player Lionel Messi to avoid paying tax on image rights, were based in the UK

In the latest revelation in a reinvigorated case against the footballer, The Times has reported today that documents filed by the Spanish prosecutor claim that income was passed through a number of companies in the UK and Switzerland, before ending up in Uruguay and Belize.

Earlier this week, a judge ruled that the star would still be prosecuted for tax evasion, despite the argument raised by the public prosecutor that it was Messi’s father, Jorge, who was responsible for the finances.

The judge ruled that Messi could have known about and approved the creation of shell companies.

According to court filings, the companies were registered to nominee owners and shareholders.

Messi and his father are accused of defrauding the Spanish government out of €4m (£3.2m) from 2006-2009.

Ellie Clayton



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