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Messi, dad paid 5 mln euros following `false tax returns` accusations

Johannesburg, Sept 5 (ANI): Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father have reportedly paid five million euros to the Spanish authorities following accusations in June of filing false tax returns.

According to Sport24, a court statement said that the duo had deposited 5, 016 542.27 euros last month as a ‘corrective payment’.

The report said that Argentine World Player of the Year and his father, who both denied wrongdoing, had allegedly hidden more than four million euros by filing incomplete returns for the years 2006 to 2009.

Officials said that the sale of Messi’s image rights had been hidden using a complex web of shell companies in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

According to Forbes magazine, Messi, who gained Spanish citizenship in 2005, is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes as he earns just over 20 million dollars-a season in wages and bonuses and some 21 million dollars in endorsements. (ANI)