Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi and has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud. His father was also given a jail term for defrauding Spain of over €4 Million.
A Barcelona court has found Messi and his father Jorge Messi guilty of tax fraud of $4.5 million between 2007 and 2009 and sentenced the both to 21 months jail time.
Under Spanish law a prison sentence under two years can be served under probation, meaning Messi and his father are unlikely to go to jail. The court ordered Messi to pay a fine of around 2 million euros ($2.21 million) and his father to pay 1.5 million euros for the crimes, reports cnbc.
During the four-day trial last month, Messi and his father denied any wrongdoing. Both said the player was unaware of the tax issues that led to the fraud charges.
But the court agreed with the state prosecutor that Messi and his father did have at least some knowledge of the corporate structures created to lower his tax burden in Spain.