Football icon and Argentina star Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi have been handed 21 months jail term in a Spanish Court today July 6, 2016 for tax fraud, in a trial which started on May 31, 2016.
In Addition to the prison sentence, Messi was fined two million euros ($2.21 million), while his father got a fine of 1.5 million euros plus the sentence, which is for three tax crimes. The sentence can be appealed in Spain’s Supreme Court.
According to a publication on Wall Street Journal, they were accused of using shell companies in Belize, Uruguay, the U.K. and Switzerland to avoid paying the Spanish government €4.16 million (now equivalent to $4.7 million) in taxes on endorsement income the player earned between 2007 and 2009.
Lionel Messi who is a five-time recipient of the Ballon d’Or said he was just playing football and claimed not to know anything about the management of his financial affairs.
However, Messi and his father will most likely avoid jail term since Spanish law permits prison sentence under two years for first offences to be served under probation.
This is no cheering news for sport fans, as the world is still coming to grips over the sentencing of South African Oscar Pistorius to 6 years imprisonment over the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, today July 6, 2016 in a South African Court.