Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after a Barcelona court found him and his father guilty on three counts of tax fraud, according to Marca.
The fraud amounted to over $4.1 million, and the court ordered Messi to pay a fine of about $2 million. His father, Jorge Messi, was handed the same prison sentence, while being ordered to pay $1.5 million.
As Marca points out, Messi and his father are unlikely to go to prison under Spanish law, where sentences under two years can be served under probation, especially if there is no previous criminal history.
What did Messi do wrong?
The whole case deals with allegations that Messi and his dad used tax havens in other countries, and shell companies, to avoid paying taxes on earnings from image rights between 2007-2009, per ESPNFC.
The trial ended in early June. Messi had admitted to signing many documents without reading what they said, and on Wednesday was found guilty of said tax fraud.
His club, Barcelona, released a statement on the matter on Wednesday.
FC Barcelona gives all its support to Leo Messi and his father with relation to the sentence for tax evasion handed out by the Provincial Court in Barcelona today.
The Club, in agreement with the Government prosecution service, considers that the player, who has corrected his position with the Spanish Tax Office, is in no way criminally responsible with regards to the facts underlined in this case.
FC Barcelona continues to be at the disposal of Leo Messi and his family to support him in whatever action he decides to take in defence of his honesty and his legal interests.
Not Messi's best summer
The summer of 2014 and 2015 weren't great for Messi, losing a major cup final. But 2016 has been the worse. At the end of June, he was on the Argentina team that lost the Copa America final to Chile where he missed a penalty kick in the decisive shootout, and then he quit the national team. On top of that, he is found guilty on tax fraud charges. There is talk that Messi's hiatus from representing Argentina could only be a temporary pause, but one thing is for certain, Messi is not having the best summer.