Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and his father Jorge have been sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud, but won’t spend any time behind bars.
According to football-espana.net, the Messis were found to have evaded tax on Lionel’s image rights, owing more than €4m in back payments, and the Court of Catalonia has sentenced the pair to just under two years in prison.
However, as the sentence is short of two years, and neither Lionel nor Jorge have a criminal record, they won’t be required to serve any jail time.
Messi had argued that he was not aware of the tax arrangements set in place by his father and other advisors, but the state attorney, Mario Maza, compared the player to a mafia boss, who has deniability on the illegal goings-on in his name.
Recently, Messi announced his retirement from international football after Argentina lost in the final of the Copa America to Chile on penalties.