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Messi handed 21-month sentence on tax fraud case, set to avoid prison

Messi handed 21-month sentence on tax fraud case, set to avoid prison

Spain

Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi have been found guilty of three counts of tax fraud in Wednesday’s ruling by a Spanish court in Barcelona.

The have both been slapped with 21 months in prison, although neither is likely to serve any jail term. The court had ruled that between the years 2007 and 2009, Messi and his father were guilty of defrauding Spanish authorities, and that for each of those three years they should serve a sentence of seven months.

However, since this was the first time Messi has committed an offense and his sentence was less than two years, 29-year-old Messi won’t serve jail time as long as he doesn’t break the law again. His father too won’t serve the term since he also doesn’t have any criminal record.

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.

The Barcelona and Argentina international has won FIFA’s Ballon D’Or award four times and the Golden Boot three.

He recently aired his frustration at failing to win the Copa America final for the third time. His Argentina side lost to Chile on penalties.

Messi said he had had enough, indicating he had played his last match representing Argentina, although some of his team mates said they hoped to make him change his mind.

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