7 Oct 2015

Spanish prosecutor wants football star's father jailed

1:01 pm on 7 October 2015

Spain's public prosecutor has recommended an 18 months jail sentence and fines of $3.5 million for Lionel Messi's father Jorge in a tax fraud case.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal. 2015.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal. 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The prosecutor reiterated that the Argentinean football star should not have to face charges for allegedly defrauding the state of seven million dollars between 2007 and 2009, as his father was in charge of his finances.

But the court overseeing the case already rejected Messi's appeal last year and ruled that he could have approved the creation of a web of shell companies that were apparently used to evade taxes.

Revenue had been hidden using a web of shell companies in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, according to the prosecutor's office.

Messi and his father paid $8.6 million to the tax authorities as a "corrective payment" after they were formally charged in June 2013.

Lionel Messi has been resident in Barcelona since 2000 and gained Spanish citizenship in 2005.

A Spanish citizen since 2005, Lionel Messi is 10th on Forbes Magazine's list of the world's highest-earning athletes over the past decade with income of $600 million.