Wednesday, October 27

Pochettino created an ‘offshore’ plot in the Virgin Islands to plan his succession and save taxes for his heirs

Coach Mauricio Pochettino, currently at Paris Saint-Germain, had a partnership offshore and a trust in the British Virgin Islands with the purpose of “ordering” their assets in the face of a possible family succession, according to Pandora Papers documents, accessed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

From the Pochettino environment they assure that the offshore company is declared before the Spanish authorities and that the technical director of the province of Santa Fe has not received accusations of evasion.

Lionel Messi’s current coach at PSG was the ultimate beneficiary of Poinsettia Properties Ltd. while working at Espanyol in Barcelona. The company was created in March 2010 and was dissolved in 2017, according to the documents consulted by the Argentine team * of ICJ, which integrates elDiarioAR With The nation and Infobae. In Spain this research is led by La Sexta and El País.

“Poinsettia Properties was armed by a matter of inheritance, as a strategy to leave the heritage in order for his family. It was declared both in Spain and in England”, they have explained from the coach’s environment, from where they have also added that the Trust in the Virgin Islands was intended to handle a possible family succession, but that ultimately fell through.

Why was a tax haven used for this operation? “It is easier from a legal point of view. If something had happened to Mauricio (Pochettino), his heirs would not have paid taxes for the corporate structure. [el fideicomiso] who collected that money. These companies are vehicles for individuals to pay taxes for what they generate as income, “they clarified.

Pochettino chose the Panamanian firm Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal) for management. The technical director appears as the sole shareholder of the firm from March 16, 2010 until a few days later, on March 23. After that date, the coach transferred control of the company to the Equity Trust Ltd, also registered in the Virgin Islands.

Poinsettia Properties was armed by an inheritance issue, as a strategy to leave the estate in order for your family

The beneficiaries of the trust were Pochettino’s wife and their children, both linked to soccer. Maurizio, 20, is a player for Watford in England; Sebastiano, 25, is a collaborator of his father on the PSG coaching staff.

Using an offshore company or opening a bank account in a tax haven is not, in itself, an illicit activity. But if the “final beneficiary” does not declare his money or any other asset to the tax authorities of his country, he may incur the crimes of evasion or laundering, among other criminal figures.

According to the French newspaper L’Equipe, Pochettino is one of the best paid coaches in the world, with a net annual salary of close to 8 million euros.

After the revelations of the Pandora Papers, the Tax Agency reported this Monday that it will investigate possible fiscal and criminal responsibilities derived from the leak. Other technical directors such as Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti were exposed by the ICIJ leak.

Moving and changes

When Pochettino left Barcelona to move to London to manage Tottenham, the offshore had moves. On April 6, 2015, the technical director ceased to be the offshore director and delegated that position to two directors appointed by the Alcogal study. The following day, Poinsettia Properties Ltd resolved to issue new shares: 50% in the name of the former footballer and the other half in the name of his wife. The trust had already been terminated.

“The family succession strategy changed, so the best thing was to undo the trust and later, of the company,” explained sources close to Pochettino. Indeed, on January 18, 2017, the company was dissolved, according to Alcogal’s internal documents that the Argentine ICIJ team was able to review.

Alcogal, based in Panama, is a leading offshore provider for politicians and wealthy people in Latin America and beyond. “Alcogal adheres to all legal requirements in the provision of corporate services and company formation, in full compliance with all applicable requirements in all the jurisdictions in which we operate,” the firm said in consultation with ICIJ.

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