The judge of the National Court María Tardón has filed the complaint against Leo Messi, his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, his brother Rodrigo Messi, and his foundation, for alleged accounting crimes, and fraud against the Public Treasury and money laundering. “After the only procedures that were evidenced as necessary and useful to verify the reported facts, the existence of any criminal action by the accused has not been revealed,” says the order in which it is declared the provisional dismissal of the case.
In December 2019, Judge Tardón reopened the case against Messi to summon Federico Rettori, former employee of the foundation and author of the initial complaint, to testify. Rettori claimed that the forward and his foundation used funds that were originally intended for social actions, but were diverted to other types of private activities or accounts other than those of the foundation.
Specifically, it was a collaborative effort to fight infant mortality in Sierra Leone, which was to be led by the ‘On a good path’ association, which Rettori chaired. Finally, this project could not be carried out because the government of Sierra Leone paralyzed it due to an Ebola epidemic in the country. However, Rettori did not inform the foundation of the cancellation of the project, and it continued to make donations in 2015, a year after it was discarded, “to divert and hide funds to avoid paying the corresponding taxes and incorporate them into its patrimony. ”, According to Rettori’s complaint.
The dismissal order indicates that it has not been possible to prove the employment relationship between Rettori and the Messi Foundation, and that the evidence provided by the complainant is unreliable, all based on newspaper articles. “Given the low reliability of the contributions of the complainant, it was agreed to carry out an exhaustive investigation of the actions of the Leo Messi Foundation,” says the magistrate. This investigation, which lasted almost two years, has not found any indication of a crime on the part of the accused, the Barcelona striker, his father, his brother and his foundation.
“Given the absence of evidence of criminality, and that after the investigation procedures (the only ones that can be considered suitable), it can only be estimated that, as requested by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and given that the perpetration of the crime does not appear duly justified , it is appropriate to agree to his provisional dismissal ”, concludes the order, which indicates that this same case remains open in the Argentine courts.
The forward, who has already evaded the 21-month prison sentence for tax irregularities imposed by the Barcelona Court in 2017 by paying a fine of 252,000 euros, terminates his last case in Spain for this kind of crime. For now, with his renewal with Barcelona pending the last details, Messi waits in Rosario after winning the Copa América and without further causes with the Spanish justice.