MADRID (Reuters) – A Spanish court said on Friday it has exchanged a 21-month prison sentence handed to Soccer player Lionel Messi for tax fraud last July 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.
The father also had his 15-month sentence exchanged for a fine of 180,000 euros, the court said.
Neither Messi or his father would have served 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.
(Reporting by Emma Pinedo; Writing by Paul Day)