Messi faces money laundering charge by ex-staff

A day after Lionel Messi won a record sixth Ballon d’Or in Paris, Spain’s National High Court reopened a case lodged against him by Frederico Rettori, a former employee of his charity foundation.

Spanish ABC newspaper reported on Tuesday that Rettori filed a lawsuit against Messi, his father, brother, and other members of the player’s entourage, in June accusing them of money laundering, fraud and other financial crimes, connected to the foundation.

Rettori claimed that the donations to the foundation had not been used for charity work but had been funnelled to the accounts of Messi’s family members.

In late September, the court closed the case citing a lack of evidence and that some of the alleged crimes took place in Argentina, placing them outside of the court’s jurisdiction.

But ABC newspaper said National High Court’s Judge Maria Tardon has accepted Rettori’s appeal and reopened the case.