In a development related to the Tax Fraud case involving Messi, today, a Barcelona court has found Club de Fútbol Barcelona forward Messi, and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, guilty of three counts of tax fraud and has sentenced them to 21 months in prison- although neither are required to serve any jail time.
The court, in their verdict statement also said that the sentence can be appealed through the Spanish supreme court. Under Spanish law, a prison sentence under two years can be served under probation, meaning Messi and his father are unlikely to go to jail; something coming as rescue to the ace footballer and his father. In addition to the sentence, the court has also ordered Messi to pay a fine of about €2 million while his father was dealt a €1.5m fine].
The Barcelona court had been hearing a case brought by prosecutors who maintain that Messi and Jorge used tax havens in Belize and Uruguay, and shell companies in the UK and Switzerland, to avoid paying taxes totaling €4.1m on earnings from image rights from 2007 to 2009.
In awe of the fraud done, the prosecutors had called for jail sentences for both and the court decided to hand out such a punishment.
The news first broke in 2013, then Messis paid over €5m in arrears and extra charges. The two supposedly have also paid €10m in taxes due on the image rights income for the years 2010 and 2011.