Spain court dismisses fresh fraud case against Messi

Publish: 7:51 PM, July 17, 2021 | Update: 7:51:PM, July 17, 2021

MADRID,  – A Spanish court dismissed Friday a new complaint filed in 2020 against Barcelona’s Lionel Messi by a man who accuses the Argentine footballer of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.

Federico Rettori, an Argentine national living in Spain who claims he formerly worked for Messi’s charity, had filed a similar complaint in 2019 which was also dismissed.

In it he claimed that funds received by the foundation which “should have been directed to social causes” instead went “towards various private activities or bank accounts that differed from those that were declared by the foundation”.

In the complaint Rettori filed in 2020 he again named the Barcelona striker, the charity, his father Jorge and brother Rodrigo, and added more documents to try to back his claims.

But Spain’s National Court said in its ruling that after two years of investigating “no criminal act on the part of the people targeted by the complaint could be proven”.

The court also said Rettori was never employed by Messi’s foundation.

Instead he headed an association called “El Buen Camino”, or “The Right Path”, which received 150,000 euros ($177,000) in 2014 and 2015 to fight infant mortality in Sierra Leone, the court said.

This project was aborted due to an Ebola epidemic in the West African country.