Lionel Messi hasn’t out-raced the long arm of the law after all.
A Spanish judge charged Messi and his father, Jorge, with three counts of tax fraud Thursday, according to The Associated Press. The judge rejected a request that prosecutors made earlier this week to remove the soccer superstar from the case.
Messi, 27, will stand trial, although a date hasn’t been set. He and his father could face a 22 1/2-month prison sentence if found guilty of tax evasion.
Prosecutors accuse the Messis of evading more than €4 million (£3.1 million; $4.5 million) in taxes owed to the Spanish government by using shell companies in Belize and Uruguay to house the Barcelona star’s image rights between 2007 and 2009.
The Messis made a “corrective payment” of more than €5 million (£3.7 million; $5.6 million) in August 2013, but prosecutors have continued to pursue a case against them.
Thumbnail photo via Lalo R. Villar/Associated Press