Spain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi and stood by a Catalan regional court’s 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud, court documents showed.
Messi and his father Jorge were found guilty by a Catalan court last July on three counts of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009 to the tune of 4.1 million euros on image rights and were also fined 2 million euros ($2.24 million).
The court reduced Jorge Messi’s sentence from 21 months to 15, however, for returning the defrauded amount to Spain’s tax authority.
Messi, who has won eight La Liga titles, four King’s Cups and four Champions League crowns with Barcelona, finished top scorer in Spain this season with 37 league goals.
He is set to play in the King’s Cup final next Saturday in Madrid, the last game of the domestic season.
Messi’s lawyer was not available for comment.