It’s good that Lionel Messi looks good in stripes because the soccer star was just found guilty of tax fraud! The Barcelona player was even sentenced to serve 21 months in jail for his crimes! Is this the end of Messi’s legendary sports career?
It doesn’t matter if you’re the biggest soccer star in the world like Lionel Messi – you still have to pay your taxes. The 29-year-old Argentinean sports icon learned this the hard way, and he was convicted of tax fraud! Has the soccer world seen the last of Lionel for a very long time?
Lionel and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, were both found guilty of three counts of tax Fraud by a Barcelona court on July 6, according to ESPN. Lionel’s father, who managed the Barcelona soccer star’s finances, was accused of using tax Havens in Belize and Uruguay to avoiding paying €4.1 million ($4.54 million) in taxes from 2007 to 2009. Both men were sentenced to 21 months in prison.
However, it’s not like either men will spend a single second behind bars. The court said that the sentence could be appealed through the Spanish court. Plus, under Spanish law, a tax prison sentence that’s under two years can be served under probation, per the BBC. Since their penalty was three months shy, they’ll likely never see the inside of a cell.
While he’ll never spend a moment in jail, will this conviction be the end of his soccer career? Not at all! His team, Barcelona, has his back. “FC Barcelona gives all its support to Leo Messi…with relation to the sentence for tax evasion…” the team said in a statement. “The Club, in agreement with the Government prosecution service, considers that the player…is in no way criminally responsible with regards to the facts underlined in this case.” Of course, the club is used to their stars having tax issues as Neymar, 24, was also smacked with a huge tax fine.
So Messi fans can rest easy knowing that he won’t serve any time behind bars and he still has his job with FC Barcelona. After all, Messi doesn’t have much else going for him. He said he would never play for the Argentina national team following their heartbreaking loss in the Copa America tournament. Even though he broke the country’s all-time goal scoring record, Lionel was left in tears. Well, at least he doesn’t have to cry about his tax fraud problem.
What do you think about Lionel being found guilty of tax fraud, HollywoodLifers? Do you think he should serve his sentence in jail?