Lionel Messi sentenced to 21-month jail term for tax evasion

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Updated: July 06, 2016 5:14 PM

As a huge set-back for football legend Lionel Messi and his fans, a spanish court has condemned him to a 21-month prison sentence for three tax evasion crimes.

The Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi has been fined around 2 million euros ($2.21 million) while Messi's father, Jorge Horacio Messi has been fined 1.5 million euros for tax crimes. (Reuters)The Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi has been fined around 2 million euros ($2.21 million) while Messi’s father, Jorge Horacio Messi has been fined 1.5 million euros for tax crimes. (Reuters)

As a huge set-back for football legend Lionel Messi and his fans, a court in Barcelona has condemned him and his father to a 21-month prison sentence for three tax evasion crimes, according to a statement by court on Wednesday.

The Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi has been fined around 2 million euros ($2.21 million) while Messi’s father, Jorge Horacio Messi has been fined 1.5 million euros for tax crimes.

However, the sentence can be appealed through the Spanish supreme court, the statement said.

As per the Spanish law, a two-year below prison sentence can be served under probation. Messi and his father can challenge the term.

Accused of creating a twine of fake companies in countries such as Uruguay and Belize in an attempt to avoid taxation on image rights earnings worth 4.16 million euros between 2007 and 2009, Lionel Messi said that he was unaware of his father’s contracts.

During the trial, Lionel Messi said that when his father asked him to sign contracts or agreements, he didn’t suspect anything wrong with respect to image rights. He said, “I was playing football; I had no idea about anything. I trusted my dad and my lawyers.”

Messi’s father in a statement last month said that he didn’t find it necessary to inform his son about the details of the contracts.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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