The biggest news of the day in football isn’t all about the upcoming matches but rather the great Lionel Messi being charged with a 21-month prison sentence for committing tax fraud. While he won’t actually serve any jail time, this will certainly affect his career. However, he wasn’t alone in his sentencing; Lionel Messi was charged alongside his father, Jorge Horácio Messi, who Lionel argues is actually behind the tax fraud. Who is Lionel Messi’s father? And what is his involvement in this case? Don’t bother searching “Lionel Messi father,” “Lionel Messi father tax fraud,” or “Jorge Horacio Messi sentenced” because you’ll find all the details about Jorge Horácio Messi below.
They Are Both Charged with Tax Fraud
The tax fraud that the Messis are charged with occurred between 2007 and 2009. During this period, they avoided paying taxes worth about 4.2 million euros (appx. US$4.6 million), most of which were based on income stemming from Lionel Messi’s fame. Aside from taking advantage of tax laws in Uruguay and Belize, the evasion was done using shell companies in the U.K. and Switzerland.
He Managed His Son’s Finances
According to the star player, it was his father who managed his finances while he focused entirely on his football career. As bad as it sounds, it’s unlikely that Messi was throwing his dad under the bus; he was under oath and that was simply the truth of it. If that truly is the case, then it makes Jorge the perpetrator in the Lionel Messi tax fraud scandal. Regardless, the court determined that the football prodigy was to be held responsible as well.
Neither Denies the Crime
While Lionel Messi denies knowing about the tax fraud, he accepted his involvement and punishment alongside his dad. As a result, Lionel has been fined 2.0 million euros (appx. US$2.2 million) for three counts of tax fraud while Jorge was fined 1.5 million euros (appx. US$1.6 million). The two already handed over 5.0 million euros (appx. US$5.5 million) at the beginning of the investigation as part of what was called a “corrective measure.”
Neither Will Do Jail Time
While Lionel Messi and Jorge Horácio Messi were sentenced today (July 6th), they were not handcuffed and led off in prison clothes. They both received sentences of “only” 21 months, yet you won’t see either of them spend any time behind bars. Why? The laws in Spain state that for non-violent crimes, the sentence must be at least 24 months (two years) to warrant a prison stay. So, don’t expect to read “Lionel Messi Father Jailed” in the headlines any time soon.