Lionel Messi and father handed prison sentences for tax fraud

Typography

Football star Lionel Messi was given a jail term of 21 months for his part in a Spanish tax fraud between 2007 and 2009.

The 29 year-old was convicted of hiding earnings in tax havens from the Spanish authorities and ordered to pay back 3.5 million Euros alongside his father Jorge.

Both were accused of defrauding to the sum of 4.1 million Euros from image right earnings during the two-year period in question. Neither is expected to serve any time behind bars though as sentences in Spain can be suspended if they come under 24 months.

Messi's reputation has been dragged through the mud for the whole ordeal and was initially uncovered despite the Argentinian earning tens of millions of dollars per year from the age of 18 back in 2005.

This year, Messi will earn upwards of 36 million Euros.