The international consortium of investigative journalism (ICIJ), the Center for the study of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP) and the number of world publications spoke about the connection of football officials and world football stars from various offshore companies that could be used for tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.
Published on 3 April, the investigation, which involved more than 370 journalists from 76 countries, was the result of a study of more than 11 million documents from the internal archives of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, whose main activity is “help the rich and powerful in the establishment of offshore companies”.
According to the published data, Lionel Messi, star of FC Barcelona, five times winner of the Golden ball as player of the year and his father Jorge Horacio Messi belongs to a Panamanian offshore company Mega Star Enterprises. It is first mentioned in the archives of Mossack Fonseca, caught in the disposal of journalists, 13 June 2013. The next day, the Spanish Prosecutor’s office put forward against both Messi charges in a multimillion dollar tax fraud. In one of the emails archive said conducting workflow Mega Star were transferred to the firm Mossack Fonseca third offshore organization agent.
Lionel Messi and his father who acted as the agent of his son, may 31 to stand trial in the case of tax fraud. Football player who was accused of tax evasion worth about $6.5 million by disguising their image rights into offshore network, has paid the state debt for the years 2007-2009. He denied charges of intentional deception.
The head of the investigative chamber of the ethics Committee FIFA Borbely of Cornell said that the organization has begun preliminary examination of the data provided in the investigation. According to him, FIFA will review the compliance to the published information the code of ethics of the organization and “will decide on further measures”, informs bi-Bi-si.
Former Vice-President of FIFA and the rights to the TV broadcast
In a statement released WORLDWIDE on April 3, the document notes that J. P. Damiani & Asociados, law firm Juan Pedro Damiani, a member of the ethics Committee the FIFA President and one of the leading football clubs in Latin America — Uruguay’s Atlético Peñarol, provided services to three individuals, who were charged after, appeared around the international organization’s corruption scandal. In particular, it is alleged that the law firm he worked at least seven offshore companies linked to former Vice-President of FIFA, Eugenio Figueredo, whom U.S. law enforcement authorities filed charges of fraud and money laundering. Figueredo was arrested in Zurich in may 2015.
In addition, J. P. Damiani & Asociados mediated Cross company Trading SA, controlled by Argentine entrepreneurs Hugo and Hinkin Mariano (father and son), it follows from revealed data. They are accused of paying bribes worth millions of dollars for the purpose of obtaining the rights to broadcast football matches in Latin America. Cross Trading SA was established in 1998 on the Pacific island of Niue (self-governing public education in free Association with New Zealand. —). Hinkey became beneficiaries of the firm after the 2006 “registered” in Nevada. The law firm Damiani offered the services of Cross Trading when the last was based on Niue, the authors of the investigation.
According to their information, J. P. Damiani & Asociados worked with five Figueredo controlled by offshore companies. She has provided mediation services for the company, which Figueredo controlled through Trustee and the company where he and his family were managers and Directors. Figueredo was accused of involvement in the corruption scheme, in which media and marketing functionaries sought rights to broadcast matches of the Copa Libertadores — football tournament held South American Confederation of football among the top clubs of the countries of the region, as well as other significant sporting events. Figueredo had already pleaded guilty in cases of fraud and money laundering instituted in his home country in Uruguay. From the published documents, the Damiani and his law firm broke the law. However, they increase the number of questions as to the Damiani and FIFA, and when the public and law enforcement authorities thoroughly test the ability of the organization’s involvement in various corruption schemes.
Damiani said his firm is not a “business relationship” with any entity, which the American law enforcement authorities filed charges on the “case of FIFA”. Damiani did not respond to the question, was whether his company in such a relationship before.
From the published papers also shows that about 20 former and current world football stars (among them the Spanish striker of FC “Barcelona” Lionel Messi), famous football clubs, including Barcelona, “Manchester United” and “real Madrid”, and their owners, sports agents have used offshore companies to withdraw money abroad.
According to internal documents of Mossack Fonseca, at least 11 veterans of the NHL used the services of a law firm.