LNTUP

Messi’s appeal in tax fraud case rejected

Photo: Getty Images
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Leo Messi fails in his appeal against a 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and his father Jorge have lost their appeal to Spain’s Supreme Court against a 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud.

The court also previously ordered Messi to pay a fine of around €2million (£1.7m) and his father to pay €1.5m (£1.3m).

Spain’s Supreme Court confirms footballer Lionel Messi’s fraud sentence. Photo: TOI via Twitter

Messi and his father were both found guilty by a court in Barcelona of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of €4.1million (£3.5m) in the period between 2007 and 2009 by not paying tax on image rights earnings.

Messi and his father were charged with using tax havens in Uruguay and Belize and shell companies in the United Kingdom and Switzerland to avoid paying taxes.

Jorge today had his sentence reduced to 15 months. However, it’s highly unlikely that Messi or his father will spend a second behind the bars as under Spanish law, first offence for non-violent crimes carrying a sentence of less than 2 years can be served under probation.