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Leo Messi to Stand Trial for $4.6M Fraud

The world’s greatest soccer player, Lionel Messi, will face trial on charges of tax fraud worth as much as $4.6 million, after a Spanish court turned down an appeal filed by his lawyers. Messi, his father, and his agent are accused of using companies based in South America to sell rights to the Barcelona player’s image, bypassing Spanish tax codes. “We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations,” Messi said. His father made a $5.6 million payment—the alleged debt, plus interest—to Spanish tax authorities in August. The Spanish court that rejected his appeal said that Messi had “benefited” from the foreign-based companies, whether or not he knew about the fraud.