Lionel Messi and his father Jorge have been summoned to appear in court on Sept. 17, after a Spanish judge said it would hear a case accusing the pair of defrauding the tax authorities of more than $5 million from 2007-2009. The complaint alleges that Messi and his father used companies in tax havens like Belize and Uruguay to sell the right to use his image.
According to BBC Sport, the income related to his image rights included contracts with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Proctor and Gamble and the Kuwait Food Company.
Messi’s net salary from Barcelona is around $21 million; he has also signed multi-million endorsements with commercial sponsors around the world. If convicted, the player and his father face a huge fine of up to $20 million according to some reports, and possibly up to six years in jail.