Is 31-year-old Barcelona defensive mainstay Javier Mascherano going to prison? Most likely (read: definitely) not, despite receiving an €815,000 fine and a one-year prison sentence for two counts of tax evasion.
According to Diario SPORT, the Argentine international paid back €1.5 million euros and an additional €200,000 after admitting to the two tax-related offenses (which date back to 2011-2012) at earlier court dates. But hey, ?? solves everything, so there’s quite literally not a chance in hell that Mascherano will have to supplement these previously paid fines with jail time now. David Aineto, the player’s lawyer, has suggested that he simply pay more: an estimated €21,000 fine in lieu of a one-year sentence.
The Eighth Court of Barcelona has been busy as of late, but damn, it seems like their extra work could have easily been avoided if these fútbol stars had just decided to pay their taxes (anybody else having flashbacks to that Making the Band skit on Chappelle’s Show? “What are you doing, Ness? You just gonna do your taxes right now? Is that hot? Is that what’s going down in the streets?”).
Mascherano posted the following letter via personal social media outlets earlier this morning:
“I am a professional athlete, I have no great knowledge of tax and legal issues,” he wrote. “Therefore, I’m helped by people that handle these issues, which for me are complex. Throughout my career, I was an honest and responsible person, respecting my colleagues, the clubs I represent, and the countries in which I lived.”
These developments in Mascherano’s judicial proceedings could foreshadow what’s to come for Messi at the end of May.