Spanish Prosecutor Replaces Messi's Prison Sentence Over Tax Fraud With Fine

Taylor Byrd
June 24, 2017

Barcelona superstar striker Lionel Messi has escaped prison term, as Argentinean captain's 21-month jail sentence has reportedly been replaced by a huge fine.

Spain's state prosecutor would swap jail time for a fine of €255,000 ($285,000; £224,000), which equates to €400 for each day behind bars.

Messi, along with his father Jorge, was found guilty of defrauding Spain of €4.1m between 2007 and 2009.

Alternatively, should the court turn down the fine and opt for the prison sentence, the prosecutor would accept a three-year probation period and if they commit any further crimes, they would serve their suspended prison sentences in full.

Messi's father, whose sentence was reduced to 15 months upon appeal, could also see the original punishment exchanged for a fine of around €180,000.

In 2013, when a formal investigation began, Messi and his father made a voluntary €5 million payment to the Spanish tax authorities as a "corrective" measure.

That led the club to worry, and try to ask the player's father Jorge, to sort the situation, but even after making it clear they would hold out for £250 million from Man City and Pep Guardiola, Messi wanted to leave - in part to escape his tax evasion issues.

In the last two weeks, Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, formerly of Real Madrid, have been accused by a Madrid-based state prosecutor of having defrauded Spain's Tax Office of millions of euros in unpaid taxes.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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