Lionel Messi given 21-month sentence for tax fraud

Last Updated: July 7, 2016
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Another bad news for the fans of Lionel Messi: footballer is guilty of three counts of tax fraud. The sport celebrity given 21-month sentence for tax fraud, but is unlikely to go to jail as a sentence can be served under probation, decided judge.

Lionel Messi and his father have been sentenced to 21 months in prison after considering their case on tax fraud. The judge of a Spanish court gave a verdict: guilty of three counts of tax fraud. As a rule, the sentence could be appealed through the Spanish supreme court, says the court statement on Wednesday.

Under the Spanish law, the court ordered Messi to pay a fine of around €2 million and his father to pay €1.5 million for the crimes. Plus 21 months in prison, of course, which can be served on probation, indeed.

Tax fraud in sport

The tax frauds are not rare in the world of professional sport. Often, the parents of young players are their managers and financial consultants. Sometimes, they act not in a professional manner, that could cause a lawsuit. The most prominent example is Steffi Graf and her father. Peter Graf evaded nearly £5 million of her earnings, and this grand scale fraud cost him a couple of years of a sentence. While Steffi was continued to play tennis and earn money, the father Peter Graf was in jail for tax fraud.

The ‘Messi case’ started in Barcelona court in early June, the Messi father testified against charges of tax evasion. Messi son said only the classical court explanation: “I was playing football. I had no idea about anything. I trusted my dad and my lawyers.”

Lionel Messi is the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, the footballer has a great future and very bright today. He has won four Champions League and eight Spanish La Liga titles with Barcelona, and it’s not the end of his career!

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