New impulse to the investigation of course tax fraud to the Messi Foundation. The judge of the National Court María Tardón has summoned to testify on March 17 as a witness to the former employee of the institution that denounced the star of the Barcelona Football Club, his father and his brother Rodrigo for tax and accounting crimes, money laundering and fraud considering that they used the Foundation “more as a mechanism to avoid paying taxes” than as an organism “destined to be socially useful”, as required by its statutes. The intention of the instructor was to take a statement before Federico Rettori, but this is currently in Britain and, after solving some problems to locate it, there has been no choice but to delay its appearance.
This is the first diligence agreed by the holder of the Court of Instruction number 3 after agreeing, at the request of the Prosecutor, the reopening of the case. It was the Public Prosecutor himself who requested the testimony of Rettori while advocating to offer the State Advocate the possibility of appearing in the case as an accusation in the face of the hypothetical existence of a damage to the Tax Agency, a step that finally took the Legal Services of the State, as advanced by LA RAZÓN.
Sources close to the complainant ensure that their intention is “That the truth be known and that this case serve as an example so that these institutions are never used again, which should be to help in social projects, for private purposes and to divert funds to other activities. ” According to those same sources, Rettori intends to provide the National Court with documentation proving that the official reports and balances presented by the Leo Messi Foundation do not conform to reality and that the percentage that each year dedicated to social projects was very small .
Rettori, who collaborated with the Foundation between August 2014 and June 2015, denounced that Messi and his father allegedly diverted funds to a screen company, Hanns Enterprises Ltd., «registered at the same address and with the same owner as another company belonging to mr. Messi ». Although the foundation was established in 2007, he says, it was not registered until seven years later. In addition, he maintains that in his first five years of existence he did not invest his income “in the percentage legally required” for purposes of general interest.
According to the complainant, the Foundation did not declare to the Treasury the “multi-million dollar income obtained by the agreements” signed with various companies both in Spain and in Argentina, among them Ooredoo, Aspire Academy, Elegí Believe Book and Golden Foot Japan. These revenues would not appear in the reports and balances presented to the Catalan Protectorate of Foundations, which according to the Rettori lawyer in his writings to the instructor, “is perfectly verifiable with the sole request of the reports corresponding to the competent administrations.”
Another issue under suspicion is the “high amounts” that the Argentine delegation of the Foundation would have received, which, as stated in the complaint, “have not been declared” in one country or another.
Messi has one more cause open in his native country for documentary forgery in which the Argentine judge asked Barça for possible transfers or donations made to the player’s foundation. The judicial investigation in his native country has highlighted that The Foundation only invested 6 percent of its budget in social projects.