MADRID (AFP) ― Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father paid off 5 million euros ($6.6 million) they owed to the taxman ahead of their court appearance on tax evasion charges, media reported Wednesday.
Spanish newspapers citing a ruling by a judge in Gava, near Barcelona, said the Argentine player’s father Jorge Messi deposited the payment, which covers more than 4 million euros in unpaid taxes plus interest, with the court on Aug. 14.
Prosecutors accuse the two of defrauding the tax office of income related to the use of his image from 2006-2009.
The reports said that after the payment was made the judge spared the accused from being made to pay bail.
The court has ordered the 26-year-old player and his father to appear for questioning this month. The hearing had been set for Sept. 17 but a scheduling clash may cause it to be postponed, media reported.