Messi set to answer questions in tax fraud case

By JOSEPH WILSON | September 27, 2013 | 6:36 AM EDT

Jorge Horacio Messi, the father of Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. Lionel Messi and his father were ordered by the Spanish court to appear for questioning on Friday as part of an investigation into tax fraud allegations. The court in the Mediterranean coastal town of Gava near Barcelona accepted a state prosecutor's complaint alleging that Messi and father Jorge defrauded the Spanish tax office of 4 million euros ($5.3 million). (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

GAVA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father are appearing before a Spanish judge to answer questions in a tax fraud case.

Messi has been summoned to Gava's court No. 3 on Friday morning, one hour before his father, Jorge Horacio Messi.

A complaint lodged by a Spanish state prosecutor in June said Messi and his father tried to conceal earnings from the player's image rights. The complaint alleged the Argentina international owed 4 million euros ($5.3 million) in back taxes from 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Messi's father made a payment of more than 5 million euros ($6.6 million) on Aug. 14 to cover alleged back taxes and interest.

Messi and his father were originally ordered to appear at the court near Messi's home outside of Barcelona on Sept. 17, but the date was postponed.