Lionel Messi's Prison Sentence Dropped, Spanish Court Issues Fine Instead

A Spanish court has on Friday July 7, 2017 withdrawn a 21-month sentence handed to Lionel Messi for tax fraud, and instead issued the Argentine football superstar with a fine of €250,000 ($285,600).

In July last year, the Court of Catalonia ruled that Messi, who plays his club football with Spanish LaLiga team Barcelona, and father Jorge were guilty of three counts of tax fraud in relation to the player’s image rights.

The Spanish tax office accused Messi and Jorge of defrauding the government of €4.2m in tax between 2007 and 2009. The court said the pair had used a group of shell companies to reduce tax on income from image rights deals.

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