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Ex-Barcelona president defends Messi on tax fraud

Updated: June 13, 2013, 2:51 PM ET
Associated Press

BARCELONA, Spain -- Former Barcelona President Joan Laporta defended Lionel Messi on Thursday against allegations of tax fraud that could carry a prison sentence for the Argentina star.

A Spanish state prosecutor filed a fraud complaint on Wednesday alleging Messi and his father Jorge avoided paying $5.3 million in back taxes through illegal overseas tax havens.

"I am convinced that neither Leo nor his father have committed any infraction," Laporta told Cope radio. "The situation ...

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