Messi gets extra fine for tax fraud, avoids prison

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 08, 2017 08:31 AM
Messi gets extra fine for tax fraud, avoids prison
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts at the end of the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Eibar at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, May 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father can avoid prison for tax fraud by paying an extra fine, a Spanish court said Friday.

Instead of Messi serving his 21-month sentence, the Argentina forward will be fined an extra €252,000 ($287,000).

The Barcelona-based court also ruled that Messi's father, Jorge Horacio Messi, will be fined an extra €180,000 ($205,000) instead of serving his 15-month sentence.

The ruling was widely expected in Spain, where prison sentences under 24 months for first-time offenders can be waived by a judge.

Last year, a court found Messi and his father each guilty of three counts of defrauding tax authorities of 4.1 million euros ($4.6 million) from 2007-09. The unpaid taxes were from money made through endorsement deals, not Messi's salary paid by Barcelona.

In that ruling Messi was also fined 2 million euros and his father 1.5 million euros. Both were originally sentenced to 21 months, but his father's sentence was later reduced to 15 months.

 

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