Barcelona’s Mascherano in court, could face prison for tax fraud
Barcelona and Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano has appeared in court as he battles against serving a prison sentence for tax fraud.
Mascherano, 31, has already admitted two counts of tax fraud after he failed to declare his earnings in 2011 and 2012.
[ MORE: Real top moneymakers, again ]
The destructive central midfielder, who has been reborn as a center back for Barca, but according to a report in Spain a judge is deciding whether or not to accept an increased fine for Mascherano in order for him to skip a custodial sentence.
Following a hearing on Thursday that lasted less than 10 minutes, Mascherano admitted the charges and pleaded for an increased fine rather than a prison sentence. His case will be deliberated in the coming days and a decision will be made about whether he ends up behind bars.
Mascherano is just one of a long list of Barcelona players to face problems with the tax authorities as superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. are both currently embroiled in legal proceedings regarding allegations of tax fraud against themselves and their families.
[ MORE: Teixeira to sign for Liverpool? ]
The specific allegations against Mascherano claim that he used overseas companies he owns to hide earnings from his image rights.
Last year he paid a Catalan court the full amount of money he owed, plus interest, which totaled over $1.89 million.
He Tweeted the following message out earlier today, saying that “I’m a sporting professional, I don’t have a great understanding of taxes and law” and then adding that “throughout all my career I have been an honest person, responsible and respectful of my team-mates and the clubs that I have played for and the countries I have lived in.”