Lionel Messi was sentenced to 21 months in prison by the Spanish justice due to tax evasion charges.
Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud, Spanish media just said. His father, Jorge Messi, was also given a jail term for defrauding Spain of €4.1m ($4.5m). The tax evasion occurred between 2007 and 2009.
Maxime H. - 06/28/2016
Leo Messi and his father also face millions of euros in fines for using tax havens in Uruguay and Belize used to conceal earnings from image rights. The Argentinean captain and his father were found guilty of 3 counts of tax fraud in Wednesday's ruling by the court in Barcelona (Spain).
Lionel Messi claimed he "knew nothing [about the management of his financial affairs]" during the trial, just saying he was "playing football".
BBC presenter Gary Lineker said the judgement would mean "tax frauds the world over will be looking to move to Spain". He also said that Messi and his father won't go to prison because under Spanish law a jail sentence under two years for a first-time non-violent crime can be served on probation, meaning they are unlikely to be imprisoned.