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    • #6116
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      Lionel Messi will not go to prison despite being found guilty of tax fraud.

      The Barcelona star, who has been on probation since he and his father Jorge were found guilty of three counts of defrauding the Spanish tax authority in July 2016, will instead pay an increased fine.

      Payment of the fine will see the remainder of Messi's sentence scrapped, meaning there is no chance of the already unlikely possibility that he could have spent time behind bars.

      Messi and his father were found guilty of defrauding the tax man out of £3.59million by hiding earnings from image rights in offshore accounts in both Uruguay and Belize from 2007 to 2009.

      The Argentina international and five-time Ballon d'Or winner was given a 21-month prison sentence in 2016, but didn't face jail time.

      Spanish law dictates that first-time offenders are given suspended sentences – meaning they can serve it under probation – if the term is under two years.

      Messi attempted to appeal against the sentence in May, but failed. His father on the other hand had his sentence reduced to 15 months.

      The 30-year-old will now pay £221,000 while Jorge will pay £160,000.

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