Lionel Messi’s prison sentence reduced to $4.68m fine

MADRID – A Spanish court has exchanged a 21-month prison sentence recently handed to star footballer Lionel Messi for tax fraud for a quarter-of-a-million-euro fine.

The Barcelona player and his father were found guilty by a Catalan court last year of three counts of tax fraud to the tune of 4.1 million euros ($4.68 million) over income earned from image rights.

Lionel Messi marries childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo in hometown

Messi’s father also had his 15-month sentence exchanged for a fine of 180,000 euros, the court said.

Neither Messi or his father would serve time in jail following the original ruling as defendants without a previous conviction are permitted to serve any sentence of under two years on probation.