Panama Report: Lionel Messi releases statement denying tax evasion claims, prepares for legal action

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World Footballer of the Year, Lionel Messi has ordered his legal team to pursue legal action against Panama Papers after they accused him of seeking refuge in Panama’s tax haven, claims Messi’s camp has dismissed as “false and libelous.”

The Panama Report reported that the Barcelona star used Panamanian company. Mega Star Enterprises to avoid paying tax on image rights deals.

Magazine El Confidencial published documents signed by Lionel Mssi and his father Jorge buying Mega Star Enterprises, via a Uruguayan buffer company and this was just a day after Spanish Financial authorities indicted the Argentina striker in a case of €4million in unpaid taxes.

Read Messi’s statement in full below…

“In response to the news released by various media outlets in which Lionel Messi is held responsible for the forming of a company with the aim of ‘putting in place a new web of tax fraud’, the Messi family wishes to make it clear that Lionel Messi has not carried out any of the actions he is accused of, the accusations of having ‘created a new web of tax fraud’ and, even, money laundering, are false and libellous,” the statement read.

“The Panamian company referred to in the reports is a completely inactive company, which never held open accounts nor funds and which comes from the former company structure put in place by Messi’s previous financial advisers, the fiscal consequences of which have already been normalised, with all the income that comes from exploitation of his image rights, prior to and after the procedure carried out in the courts, having been declared before the Spanish Treasury.

“With respect to the above, the Messi family have given instructions to their lawyers to analyse eventual legal action against the sources that have published these claims.”

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