Barcelona football star Messi given 21-month sentence for tax fraud
July 6, Barcelona: Lionel Messi, Barcelona football star, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after he was found him of three counts of tax fraud.
Spanish court said in a statement on Wednesday that the sentence could be appealed through the Spanish Supreme Court.
Judges also sentenced Messi’s father, Jorge, to 21 months in prison for the same three crimes.
Under Spanish law a prison sentence of under two years can be served on probation, meaning Messi, 28, and his father are unlikely to go to jail, reports said.
The court also ordered Messi to pay a fine of around 2 million euro ($2.2m) and his father to pay 1.5 million euro ($1.6m) for the crimes.
According to BBC news report, Messi appeared in court in Barcelona in early June alongside his father to testify against charges of tax evasion.
"I was playing football. I had no idea about anything," Messi told the court at the time. "I trusted my dad and my lawyers."
Messi, the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, has won four Champions League and eight Spanish La Liga titles with Barcelona.
The Oslo Times International News Network