May 242017
 

Spain’s Supreme Court confirmed on Wednesday that Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Messi received prison sentences of 21 and 15 months respectively in relation to a tax fraud case.

lionel messi prison sentence

Lionel Messi lost appeal against 21-month jail sentence

The magistrates unveiled their decision on May 24 after Barcelona’s star and his father appealed against last year’s initial sentence. The two convicts – Lionel and Jorge Messi – have demanded the annulment of the 21-month jail term pronounced in July 2016, while the prosecution has demanded the Supreme Court to uphold it.

Both men were convicted of three counts of fraud, for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009, and were also given heavy fines.

They were found guilty of resorting to fictitious companies to evade Spanish taxes on income from companies using Lionel Messi’s image rights, writes BBC.

Despite paying the € 4.1 million damages, the Messi family did not escape punishment after recognizing the tax fraud charges.

In the end, footballer’s sentence was maintained at 21 months, while Jorge Messi’s was reduced to 15 months.

The Supreme Court has also confirmed the € 2.1 million fine that the player has to pay. As for his father, the financial sanction was reduced from € 1.6 million to €1.3 million.

Despite this convictions, Lionel Messi’s freedom is not jeopardized as sentences less than 24 months do not lead to imprisonment in Spain, therefore the Angentine star will serve it under probation.