A Spanish court has dropped a tax fraud investigation into Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi and his foundation linked to six friendly matches.
A Barcelona court said Monday it was satisfied neither the footballer nor the Lionel Messi Foundation were involved in trying to defraud Spain’s tax office.
Spain’s Prosecutor had asked the court to investigate possible tax offenses over games held between June 16, 2012 and July 6, 2013 in the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Peru.
Guillermo Javier Marín, a businessman behind the organization of the friendly games had “never paid any money” to Messi” but “his participation in the matches had been compensated through hotel stays for his family members and first-class plane tickets,” Marín added in his witness statement.
The statement said Marin had presented the judge with a “coherent explanation” relating to wire transfers totaling $1.37 million.
This is one of three cases of unpaid taxes that Messi has had to face.