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Friday, 3 June 2016

Messi uses the Fawlty Towers defence



Lionel Messi is up on tax evasion charges in Spain and has used the Spanish waiter defence. His answer to the charges was to take a leaf of Manuel, the Spanish waiter from Barcelona in Fawlty Towers "I know nothing."




Taking the stand on the third day of his trial he pleaded ignorance, which is hardly a defence. Regardless of whether you employ someone or not, it is still your responsibility to pay it, as opposed to trying to avoid it by using chain of fake companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros ($4.6 million) of Messi’s income earned through the sale of his image rights from 2007-09.

“I was playing football. I had no idea about anything. I trusted my dad and my lawyers. All I knew was that we signed agreements with certain sponsors, for ‘X’ amount of money and that I had to do adverts, photos and those things but about the money and where it went I knew nothing."

His father has handled all his financial affairs since he was a child . Spanish prosecutors are seeking a jail sentence of 22-and-a-half months for them both if they are found guilty, plus fines equivalent to the amount that was allegedly defrauded.

Under Spanish law though, first offences carrying a sentence of less than two years are usually given suspended.

Messi and his father made a voluntary payment of 5.0 million euros (£3.87m - US$5.6m - AUS$7.7m)— equal to the amount of the alleged unpaid taxes plus interest — in August 2013. That payment is expected to mitigate any sentence if they are found guilty.

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