Tax fraud case against Messi to proceed

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge on Monday rejected a prosecutor's request to drop charges of tax fraud against Lionel Messi and ordered the investigation into three cases of suspected unpaid taxes to proceed.

A court statement said there was "sufficient evidence" to believe the Barcelona and Argentina star "could have known and consented" to the creation of a fictitious corporate structure to avoid paying taxes on income from his image rights.

The statement was issued by the court in Gava, Barcelona, that was initially called on by prosecutors to investigate if there was a case for Messi and his father to answer.

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