According to BBC News, football superstar Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison due to tax fraud.
Jorge Messi, Lionel’s father, was also given a jail term for tax fraud of near $4.5 million between 2007 and 2009.
Because of Spanish law, neither Lionel or his father are expected to serve any jail time. Prison terms of under two years in Spain can be served via probation.
Both Lionel and his father were found guilty of three counts of tax fraud on Wednesday.
The term “tax fraud” is typically used when a taxpayer intentionally defrauds the government by avoiding tax payments that he or she knows are due by law. Tax fraud can result in both civil and criminal penalties. Someone in Messi’s shoes needs a tax attorney who can tell him where he stands and what his best options are – and then he would have that expert negotiate with the IRS on his behalf.