Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano to spend 365-days in jail for tax fraud

Javier Mascherano

Javier-Mascherano Barcelona’s Argentinian defender Javier Mascherano stands before the judge in Spain

Barcelona and Argentina’s Javier Mascherano has been gifted with a one-year prison sentence and a fine of 816,000 euros ($956,000) before a Spanish Court on Thursday, January 21, for committing tax frauds of up to 1.5 million euros.

The 30-year-old, who was in court on Thursday morning, pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion, as he admitted defrauding the treasury of €1.5m euros over 2011 and 2012, but insisted he had no idea about it.

However, the Barcelona defender is not likely to be spending a year behind bars, after his lawyer David Aineto requested the prison sentence to be substituted for the fine, which he is yet to pay, Daily Mail reports.

It was learnt that In Spain, people handed sentences of less than two years are not normally required to serve their sentence, unless they are being punished for violent crime, if they agree to a fine.

Javier Mascherano

The Barcelona and Argentina player was handed a one-year prison sentence

Mascherano published a statement after the verdict in which he insisted he was an ‘honest and responsible person’.

Meanwhile, Mascherano is not the only Barcelona star who is having financial problems, with Messi set for a court appearance later this year after he and his father were also charged with tax fraud through image rights arrangements.

Messi’s trial has been set for May 31-June 3, 2016, conflicting with the start of the centennial Copa America in the United States.

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