Messi sentenced to 21 months in prison

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.

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 fined the pair and sentenced them each to just under two years in prison, according to El Periodico.

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, the sentence in effect suspended, and the prosectors had asked for a sentence under the 24-month threshold as well.

Leo Messi had argued that he wasn’t 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, El Periodico notes.

Tags Lionel Messi