Yesterday, the Barcelona state prosecutor claimed that he was agreeable to the idea of having Lionel Messi pay a fine for Tax Fraud rather than have him serve a 21-month long Prison Sentence, the Independent reported. The one catch is that it had to be the maximum amount allowed under law.

Because of this, his fine will come out to €255,000, or roughly $300,000. The decision takes into account an estimated $2.2 million fine he already paid last year when he and his father were initially caught for tax fraud.

The charges

Last July, Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were found guilty of three different counts of tax fraud from 2007-2009 which accounted for about $4.5 million.

As a result, the two of them voluntarily paid for a $5.6 million “corrective payment” to make up for the unpaid taxes, plus interest, that were due to Spain in August 2013.

Because the two of them are accused of using tax havens in Uruguay and Belize as well as shell companies in the UK and Switzerland, they will also be paying millions of euros in additional fines. However, the exact amount they will have to pay for these additional fines has yet to be specified.

The sentence

When Messi and his father Jorge were initially given their 21-month long prison sentence, it was already widely known that the two of them were most likely not going to serve any actual prison time thanks to Spain’s system of law.

Under Spanish law, any tax related prison sentence under two years can be served under probation instead.

The Barcelona state prosecutor has also made it known that he’s not against the idea of suspending the prison sentence altogether as long as neither of them are charged with anything else for the next three years.

However, even if Messi were to pay the maximum fine for tax fraud allowed under Spanish law, it wouldn’t exactly be all too detrimental to his wallet.

Messi currently earns a weekly wage of roughly $450,000 after taxes, which doesn’t even take into account the millions of dollars he makes off of endorsements yearly.

In fact, Messi is considered the third wealthiest athlete in the world behind only LeBron James and his rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

So long as Messi and his father maintain clean criminal records for the foreseeable future, neither of them seem to have much to worry about. It’s widely known in Spain that judges often accept the state prosecutor’s recommendations which can only bode well for the two of them.

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