Javier Mascherano has been charged with evading taxes totalling more than €1.5million, authorities in Spain have announced.
The Barcelona man is alleged to have avoided declaring the total income from image rights between 2011 and 2012 by using companies based on foreign shores.
Public prosecutors in Spain claim Argentina international Mascherano defrauded authorities of €587,822.01 in 2011 and €968,907.76 the following year.
As recorded by agency Efe, the Economic Crimes Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that Mascherano, “with the goal of dodging that tax burden”, failed to declare income from sponsors “paid via a company located in the United States and another in the Portuguese island Madeira”.
“The island’s duty-free area holds a particularly favourable tax regime,” the statement added.
Mascherano, who has so far made no comment on the allegations, has already paid the amount owed this month plus an additional interest payment of close to €200,000, the prosecutor’s office has said.
Last week, Mascherano’s Barca team-mate Neymar had around €42m of his assets frozen by a court in his native Brazil on suspicion of tax evasion. Neymar’s parents have denied the accusations levelled at their son.
Barca and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi and his father are also set to face trial in Spain for alleged tax fraud. Both men deny any wrongdoing.