Spanish authorities probing Messi over offshore accounts

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MADRID (AP) — Spanish tax authorities say they are investigating allegations of tax irregularities involving soccer player Lionel Messi after documents released by an international probe of offshore accounts.

Messi’s family released a statement Monday denying wrongdoing and threatened to sue media outlets that released the information linking the Argentine player to accounts in Panama.

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The Barcelona star was among those named in reports by international media who received a vast trove of data and documents leaked from a law firm based in Panama.

Last year, Spanish authorities charged Messi and his father with three counts of tax fraud for allegedly defrauding Spain’s tax office of 4.1 million euros ($4.4 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. They will stand trial in late May and face nearly two years in prison if found guilty.