Messi sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud

Messi sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraudThe Court of Catalonia on Wednesday sentenced Lionel Messi alongside with his father Jorge to 21 months in prison for tax fraud, but the Barcelona forward is not expected to spend any time behind bars. The court’s sentence was less than two years and neither Messi has a criminal record, neither will be sent to prison. Under the Spanish system, prison terms under two years can be served under probation.

The footballer and his father were found guilty of three counts of tax fraud. The authorities allege that the two used tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights.

During the trial, Lionel Messi claimed he "knew nothing" about the management of his financial affairs, saying he was "playing football".

The Barcelona forward and his father were both sentenced in a Spanish court, which handed down a fine of two million euros for three tax crimes to the footballer. His father, Jorge Messi, was given the same jail sentence and a fine of 1.5 million euros.
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