sports

Barcelona star Javier Mascherano sentenced to 12-month imprisonment

Spanish authorities seem to be on a hunt for individuals who have been evading payment of tax with the net cast wide into the sporting world.

After months of investigations on Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Messi for tax evasion, the authorities seem to have nabbed another unlikely target, Javier Mascherano.

Until now, the Barcelona midfielder had not been strongly linked to tax evasion and it may come as a surprise to many that he has been sentence to 12-month imprisonment according to Spanish outlet Sport.

It is however a relief for Mascherano since people sentenced to two years or less are not required to serve any time behind bars unless there has been cases of violent crimes involved.

The former Liverpool star received a four-month and eight-month sentences for the offences which allegedly took place in 2011 and 2012.

Mascherano had already repaid the full £1.1.5 million (Ksh177,442,517) debt owed to the tax authorities before he was handed the sentence.

He has also paid a fine of £588,000 (Ksh90,727,130) on top of the debt.

The Argentine midfielder will however be forced to serve the jail term if he repeats the crime within the next one year.

This comes after BBC reported in October that Messi and his father will stand trial over tax fraud charges as ruled by a Spanish court.

The two are accused of defrauding Spain of more than £3.1 million (Ksh478,323,307), though they have denied the claims.

They voluntarily paid £3,594,521 (Ksh554,862,619)corrective payment equal to the alleged unpaid tax plus interest in August 2013.

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