Lionel Messi will face prosecution for alleged tax evasion
A prosecutor's request to have tax evasion charges against Lionel Messi dropped was rejected by a Spanish judge, according to the Associated Press.
Lionel and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, were accused of tax fraud in June 2013 for allegedly failing to pay more than €4 million ($5.37 million) in taxes by filing false tax returns from 2006 to 2009. In August of that year, according to the AP, Jorge Messi paid more than €5 million ($6.7 million) to cover the alleged unpaid taxes, plus interest.
Last month, Spanish prosecutors asked the judge to drop charges against the soccer star. The prosecutor had argued that only Jorge was responsible for the family's finances. But the judge rejected the request and "will allow three cases of suspected unpaid taxes to go forward" against both men.
If convicted, Lionel and his father could potentially face a fine of 150 percent of the earnings and between two and six years in prison.
- Sarah Barshop