A court found football player Lionel Messi guilty of tax fraud on 6 June, and sentenced him to 21 months in prison. The court also penalised him 2 million Euros.
The court found Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi guilty of defrauding 4.1 million Euros from tax authorities. Besides Messi, the court also fined his father 1.5 million Euros.
The law in Spain states less than two years of imprisonment on the first offence are usually suspended. It comes as a sigh of relief to the player that he might not have to serve the jail term, but the decision is still in the court’s hand.
Messi’s management company claimed that it would appeal against the sentence in the top most court of Spain.
Messi as well as his father have both denied to be involved in any wrongdoing/s. Although Messi’s father did not say, tax inspectors said that he used companies in Uruguay and Switzerland to use image rights so as to get tax reduced on Messi’s income. Messi’s father said that he was advised to do so by a legal adviser, who said that the practice was legal.
Argentina’s leading scorer, Messi has so far scored 55 goals in 113 international matches. He recently announced his retirement after he lost the Copa America finals last month as he missed his penalty shoot losing the match to Chile.
FC Barcelona said that they will always support Messi and his family in whatever situation he gets in.