Global Financial Integrity

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Cryptocurrency and the rise of new illicit financial flows

By Ben Iorio With the rise of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, the norms for currency have changed. Cryptocurrencies allow transactions to take place with a currency not regulated by any country. In essence, cryptocurrencies are currencies existing completely...

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Messi and the International Impunity System

Lionel Messi’s Tax Troubles Should Increase Pressure on Politicians to Curb the Abuse of Anonymous Companies

The ongoing prosecution of football super star Lionel Messi for alleged tax evasion made global headlines last week. Messi and his father Jorge are accused of evading 4.2 million euros (US$5.6m) in tax on sponsorship earnings in court documents submitted by the prosecutor.

The alleged tax evasion scheme was based on using a web of anonymous shell companies registered in tax havens such as Belize and Uruguay, as highlighted by our colleagues at Global Witness. These shell companies were linked to other anonymous companies in what the prosecutor calls “convenience jurisdictions” such as the UK and Switzerland.

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