The Spanish Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed a 21-month prison sentence and a $ 2.2 million fine imposed on tax evasion Lionel Messi, months after the Barcelona soccer star has appealed.
Messi was sentenced in July 2016, but is likely to be suspended, as is the case in Spain of the first crimes for non-violent crimes sentenced to less than two years.
The Argentine international and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were sentenced in July 2016 to use companies in Belize, Britain, Switzerland and Uruguay to avoid paying income taxes of € 4.16 million Messi obtained from his Image rights 2007-2009.
Messi’s image rights revenues that were hidden included contracts that were approved with Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Kuwait Food Company.
Messi and his father were sentenced to 21 months in prison. Risquables of sanctions to be suspended, as is the case in Spain in Spain for the first crimes for non-violent crimes convicted less than two years.
They appealed to the Supreme Court.
While the court upheld Messi’s Wednesday sentence, he was reduced to 15 months in prison by his father, bearing in mind that his son’s football had returned to the tax authorities for money defrauded.
During the trial last year, Messi had argued that he had no confidence in his father’s finances and “knew nothing” about how he handled his wealth.
However, the Supreme Court held that it would have been aware of its obligation to pay income taxes on its image rights.
The trial of tax evasion Messi in June last year took place in a context of anti-voter anger against cuts in social spending and health, while the government was trying to reduce the Spanish public deficit.