Published On: Wed, Jan 28th, 2015

Well known soccer player’s advisor reportedly probed for stashing charity funds in Curaçao

Lionel MessiWILLEMSTAD - According to an investigation by the Civil Guard, reported by Jose Antonio Hernandez of El Pais, Guillermo Marin, a Lionel Messi representative, stashed funds from charity football matches set up in the player's name in "secret bank accounts."

Hernandez reports the Civil Guard to have found money accumulated from the Messi and Friends vs. Rest of the World matches was deposited into a bank account right here in Curaçao. It is alleged five bank transfers totaling over €1 million were made to the account.

Marca, citing El Pais, suggests "tax havens" in Curaçao and also Hong Kong received money from exhibition matches which "were neither for charity nor good causes."

Hernandez cites the Civil Guard probe when reporting "alleged financial crimes" carried out by firm Total Conciertos, which organised Messi's fixtures. It is suggested the group helped launder money for a Colombian drug cartel in 2012.

So-called tax havens allow lawyers to pose as "front men" in order to conceal the real names behind a particular bank account. Hernandez indicates the names "Messi-Marin" are included on transfers to Curaçao from Total Conciertos. Marin is also alleged to have suggested company representative Andres Barco promoted the charity fixtures and paid Messi $300,000 for having his foundation's logo on the kits.

Messi and his Barcelona team-mates have reportedly denied receiving cash to appear. It is suggested Marin will have to appear in court next month to explain the situation.

Such a story potentially adds to off-field pressure for Messi, who is currently embroiled in a Spanish tax investigation alongside his father. The duo are said to have evaded paying £3.1 million, as reported by BBC News. However, Leo continues to deny any wrongdoing, per a statement posted on his official Facebook page (via Sky Sports).

The Barcelona man has scored 31 goals in 28 appearances for the Blaugrana this season, per His regular charity matches reportedly took place in Mexico, Colombia, USA and Peru.

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