Javier Mascherano tax fraud: Former Liverpool star charged with defrauding Spanish tax authorities of more than £1m

Barcelona defender charged with two counts of defraufing the Spanish tax authorities of more than €1.5m

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The Independent Online

Javier Mascherano has been charged with two counts of fraud by the Spanish tax authorities for more than  €1.5million.

The Barcelona defender, who joined the Catalan club from Liverpool in 2010, is alleged to have sought to conceal earnings from image rights by using companies set up in the US and neighbouring Portugal.

A judge will rule on whether the case should go to trial.

The 31-year-old is accused of defrauding authorities of 587,822.01 (£434,681) in 2011 and 968,907.76 (£716,485.74) in 2012.

According to the public prosecutor's office, Mascherano, who has made no comment on the charges, has paid the money owed plus a further 200,000 (£147,895) of interest. 

The total equals 1,756,729.77 (£1,302,803.33).

Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi, and his father Jorge, were caught up in a similar case, but denied they have done anything wrong.

A judge has also previously accused Neymar of evading taxes.

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