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Mascherano expected to avoid jail time in tax case

AP , Thursday 21 Jan 2016
Javier Mascherano
FC Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano, from Argentina, leaves the court after answering questions in a tax fraud case in Barcelona (Photo: AP)
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Although he is not expected to serve any time in jail, Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has been handed a one-year prison sentence for not properly paying taxes in Spain.

Mascherano was also fined nearly 800,000 euros (about $850,000) on Thursday and has been prevented from receiving any tax benefits for a year. The prison sentence is expected to be replaced by another fine or dismissed entirely.

The sentencing came nearly three months after the Barcelona defender had reached a deal with prosecutors and the attorney's office for failing to pay nearly 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) in taxes for 2011 and 2012.

The Argentine player, who has played for Barcelona since 2010, was accused by Spain's tax office of concealing part of what he earned in image rights.

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