Barcelona football superstar Lionel Messi, and his father Jorge Messi, have been given a suspended jail sentence of 21 months for tax fraud after both were found guilty of three counts of tax fraud in Wednesday’s ruling by a Barcelona court.
Both men were charged with defrauding Spain of €4.1m (£3.5m; $4.5m) between 2007 and 2009. This is in addition to facing millions of Euros in fines for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights. The court ordered Mr. Messi to pay a fine of €2m while his father was fined to the sum of €1.5m.
The jail sentence could be suspended because the Spanish legal system allows for prison terms under 2 years to be converted into probation outside of jail. During the trial, Lionel Messi claimed he “knew nothing” about the management of his financial affairs, saying he was “playing football.”
This story was reposted from Sahara Reporters Sports, the sports news arm of Sahara Reporters Media