Lionel Messi, the Argentine star player of FC Barcelona, is just like his father a prison sentence of 21 months, convicted of tax fraud. Because the sentence is under two years, he probably should not go to jail.
A court in Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi and his father Jorge sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax evasion. The FC Barcelona star footballer and his father have about 4.1 million evaded taxes. All kinds of tax structures in tax havens enabled them not to give more than 10 million euros in image rights income between 2007 and 2009. According to the prosecutor, the Messi’s big money sponsorship deals siphoned off through offshore structures in Belize, Uruguay, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
During a court hearing in early June Flea admitted that he had signed those contracts, but in his own words he was aware of no harm. “I signed because I trusted my father. I never thought that he would disappoint me. “
The public prosecutor had respectively a prison sentence of 18 months (Jorge) and 22.5 months required (Lionel). Despite the conviction is likely that Messi do not have to go to jail. The court may decide that people with no criminal record should not be serving a sentence of less than two years.
Lionel Messi is not the first Barcelona player who has been sentenced after he sjoemelde with his tax return. Early this year, his compatriot Javier Mascherano was sentenced to one year prison. His conviction was no reason for Barcelona to dismiss him.