Even football’s golden boy can’t escape the fallout from the massive document leak from shady Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Hackers released a cache of 11.5 million documents (known as the #panamapapers) stolen from Mossack Fonseca – a law firm that helps rich people avoid paying taxes – that tie athletes, heads of state, and celebrities to illegal business dealings.
Messi and his father are already slated to stand trial in Spain on May 31st for tax evasion charges. The footballer allegedly stiffed the government out of $6.5 in taxes by hiding his assets in offshore accounts.
However, the new documents link Messi and his father to a company registered in Panama called “Mega Star Enterprises”. The pair’s involvement with the Mega Star Enterprises dates back to at least 2013.
The new leaks have Lionel Messi’s signature on at least one document that reflects his ownership of the company, though the documents indicate that his father, Jorge Messi, assumed sole ownership of the company in December of 2015.
Lionel Messi, Jackie Chan and David Cameron’s father are just some of the high-profile names on the Panama Papers https://t.co/Mq3UePb1Mz
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) April 4, 2016
While Messi and his father have been the subject of ongoing public scrutiny for their involvement in the existing tax evasion scandal, Mega Star Enterprises is not named in the Spanish government’s 2014 or 2015 indictments of the pair.
I have a feeling Messi will land on his feet, though.
If it was Ronaldo, we’d barely be able to contain our collective outrage.
Messi could burn down an orphanage and we would still love him.
Would Messi have an easier time covering up a murder than Ronaldo?