According to reports, the court also sentenced the Argentine soccer player’s father, Jorge, to 21 months in prison for the same three crimes. The sentence can be appealed through the Spanish supreme court, the statement said.
However, under Spanish law a prison sentence under two years can be served under probation, meaning Messi and his father are unlikely to go to jail.
The court ordered Messi to pay a fine of around 2 million euros ($2.21 million) and his father to pay 1.5 million euros for the crimes.
During the trail, Messi said he never suspected any wrongdoing when his father would ask him to sign contracts or documents relating to his image rights, a lucrative source of income for any athlete of his calibre.
Witness Eva Blazquez, responsible for handling the four-time Champions League winner’s tax declarations, said: “Leo didn’t see them. The final supervision was done by the client, in this case, Jorge Messi.”
Messi’s father reiterated last month that his son didn’t know the details of his contracts. “I didn’t think it was necessary to inform him of everything,” he said.