Messi still faces prosecution over alleged tax fraud despite 13 mln-dollar tax payment

Washington, June 26 (ANI): Barcelona star Lionel Messi has reportedly paid 13 million dollars in taxes to cover the tax period 2010-2011, although he is still facing prosecution for alleged tax fraud from 2007 to 2009.

The four-time world player of the year and his father Jorge Horacio Messi, who is also a target of the investigation, are suspected of defrauding Spanish tax authorities of more than five million dollars between 2006 and 2009, CNN reports.

The duo, who are due to appear in court on September 17, have, however, denied the charges, the report further said.

According to a spokesman for the Barcelona prosecutor's office, Messi's payment does not affect the existing investigation into the alleged tax fraud, adding that the player's lawyers had not yet approached prosecutors about making a deal to settle the earlier tax claim.

The report further said that any deal would have to involve Messi admitting guilt, paying the amount he owes, and a fine of two to six times as much as the outstanding amount, which could total from anywhere between 15.7 million dollars to 36.7 million dollars.

Messi is listed as the 10th highest-paid athletes in the world by business magazine Forbes with earnings of 41 million dollars, the report added. (ANI)

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