Messi to pay Spanish tax fine, avoid jail time

Rachel Hardy
June 24, 2017

Having, at the time, been found guilty and later handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence for tax evasion, Mundo Deportivo suggest that the 29-year-old became disenchanted with life in Catalunya and having made a decision to retire (albeit briefly) from worldwide football last June, Messi is said to have been ready to also leave his boyhood club. Judges usually follow the state prosecutor's guidance in Spain.

Last year Javier Mascherano paid a similar fine to Messi after being handed a six-month jail sentence for fraud.

But the threat of serving ail has been struck off altogether following an agreement with the Spanish courts.

The court in Barcelona found they used tax havens in Belize and Uruguay.

Now the Barcelona court must proceed with sentencing the star and his father either to prison or agree with the prosecutor and settle for a fine as punishment.

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In Spain, less than 24 months' imprisonment does not involve actual jail time.

However, he was spared serving hard time due to Spanish law denoting that any sentence under two years can be served as probation.

Messi's case was one of the first high-profile investigations by Spanish authorities into top football players' tax affairs.

And Cristiano Ronaldo is now fighting allegations he defrauded the Spanish tax office of nearly £13m through the sale of image rights.

The state prosecutor earlier this month accused Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo of knowingly using a complex business structure to hide image rights income in Spain.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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