David Waygood, a former banker with HSBC who later ran a company which allegedly helped football star Lionel Messi evade taxes totaling £3 million, killed himself, a coroner has recorded.
Mr Waygood, who walked in front of a train last year, was sole director of a firm which Spanish prosecutors claim hid the footballer’s massive image rights earnings. A judge in Barcelona has ruled Mr Messi should be charged with tax evasion alongside his father Jorge. Prosecutors claim the two used shell firms in the UK, Switzerland, Uruguay and Belize to siphon off £3.3million between 2007 and 2009.
One company was allegedly Sidefloor Limited, of which Mr Waygood was sole director from March 2007 until his death. All shares were held anonymously by a nominee company. An inquest heard Mr Waygood, from Sevenoaks, Kent, was depressed before his April 2013 death and police had called at his house after he missed a counselling session.
He was facing investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority for links to an unlawful investment scheme.
He left a note to son James and daughter Lizzie blaming stress for his death. Assistant coroner Alan Blunsdown recorded a suicide verdict.