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Lionel Messi gets 21 month prison term for tax fraud , but will not go to jail

The Barcelona Provincial Court ruled that Messi and his father, Jorge Messi, had committed three counts of tax fraud that were punishable with 21 months (one year and 9 months) in prison, reports Efe. But under the Spanish law, it is not mandatory for a first offender to go to prison if the sentence is under two years. The sentence can be appealed before the Spanish Supreme Court.

Lionel Messi ; Tax heat ( IANS)

There is now trouble off the field too  for former Argentine superstar Lionel Messi as a Spanish court  has  sentenced the FC Barcelona’s  football star and his father to a prison term for tax fraud committed between 2007 and 2009.

The Barcelona Provincial Court ruled that Messi and his father, Jorge Messi, had committed three counts of tax fraud that were punishable with 21 months (one year and 9 months) in prison, reports Efe. But under the Spanish law, it is not mandatory for a first offender to go to prison if the sentence is under two years. The sentence can be appealed before the Spanish Supreme Court.

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.

It may be recalled that the Tax evasion charges has hunted Messi for  quite some time  now . The former Argentina and Barcelona star and his father Jorge were found guilty of using companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million Euros of Messi’s income earned from his image rights from 2007-09.

The income related to Messi’s image rights that was allegedly hidden includes endorsement deals with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter & Gamble and the Kuwait Food Company.

IANS

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