Messi and the Panama offshore scandal
The international consortium of journalistic investigations has published information about the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca which helps the clients with establishment of the offshore companies. The investigation lasted about a year. Journalists had studied 11 million documents from the internal archive of the firm. According to Mossack Fonseca, the activity of firm working within 40 years isn’t illegal and there were no charges brought in the past.
The Mossack Fonseca’s documents show the offshore companies were in touch with a large number of the famous and influential people
For example, there were mentioned as 72 acting or former state leaders in them, or the people connected with soccer, i.e. about 20 famous football players representing as now, so in the past the most popular clubs, including “Barcelona”, “Manchester United” and “Real”. Among them – the forward of “Barcelona” Lionel Messi.
Messi and his father Jorge possess the offshore company Mega Star Enterprises registered in Panama
The first reference of the Lionel’s firm in the Mossack Fonseca’ archives belonged to June 13, 2013 – the Spanish prosecutor’s office has brought the charge of tax frauds to Messi and his father the day before it for the first time. It was said in the e-mail that another offshore organization agent has submitted Mossack Fonseca firm the cases on conducting document flow of the company.
The first mention that Messi’s family is the owner of Mega Star has appeared less than in two weeks, on June 23, 2013
Besides, documents contain information on the offshore holdings belonging to the former and real owners of at least 20 largest football clubs including Milan “Inter” and “Boka Huniors”. Football players from Brazil, Uruguay, Great Britain, Turkey, Serbia, the Netherlands, Sweden and other countries are mentioned in the documents. Apparently, the majority of them used the help of law firm during creation of the offshore companies for storage of the money earned with sale of the image rights to producers of sports shoes and on the other types of advertizing.
In particular, Leonardo Ulloa, Ivan Samorano and Gabriel Heinze are mentioned in documents.