BREAKING NEWS! Messi Escapes Jail, Must Pay $2m Fine
Argentina and Barcelona FC star, Lionel Messi won’t be going to jail after being found culpable in a tax evasion case by Spanish tax authorities.
A Barcelona court ruled that between 2000 and 2009, Messi was guilty of tax fraud and that for each of those three years he should serve a sentence of seven months. However, because this was the first time the Barcelona forward had committed an offense and his sentence was less than two years, he would instead pay a fine of $2.3 million and avoid jail as long as he doesn’t break the law again.
Messi’s father, Jorge Messi, was also handed a 21-month jail sentence and a $1.7 million for tax fraud, though like his son he won’t serve time as he also doesn’t have a criminal record.
The Argentine’s legal representatives argued their client had no knowledge of his tax affairs. The sentence also reflects that Messi has no previous criminal record and that he has already paid back the money he owes, minus $23,600, which he now has to pay.
Messi is widely regarded as the best footballer on the planet and is Barcelona’s all-time leading goal scorer. With Barca, Messi has won the European Champions League on four occasions and eight Spanish league titles.
Forbes ranked Messi as the second-highest paid athlete on the planet, earning an estimated $81.4 million through his salary and various endorsement deals.