Barcelona and Brazil forward Neymar is facing accusations of tax evasion and forgery in his homeland.
Neymar, the player’s father Neymar Sr, current Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell are all accused of evading taxes and misrepresentation in order to “abolish taxes owed to the IRS of Brazil”.
Brazilian state Sao Paulo’s public prosecution office (MPF) confirmed that they had recommended the four men be charged by the federal court. A judge must now decide whether to take the case forward.
The prosecution’s case centres around alleged fraudulent use of Neymar’s image rights from as early as 2006, as well as irregularities in the Brazil captain’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.
An MPF statement claims that Neymar ought to have paid 27.5 per cent in income tax for any money received as a result of promotional work. However, as the funds were apparently redirected through companies owned by Neymar Sr, it is claimed that the rate paid was only 12.53 per cent.
A €40million payment made in installments by Barca to Neymar Sr’s N & N Consulting company is at the centre of the Brazilian investigation into Neymar’s money-spinning transfer to Camp Nou.
It is alleged that the sum, €10m of which was paid two years before the striker moved to Spain, was fraudulently listed as payment for management of image rights and scouting in South America.
Brazilian authorities froze an estimated 188.8m reals (€43.4m) of Neymar and his family’s assets in September last year in an attempt to reclaim money owed.
Neymar appeared in Spanish court on Tuesday to give testimony in a separate case concerning allegations of fraud brought by Brazilian investment fund DIS in relation to his transfer to Spain three years ago.
No formal charges have been brought in the Spanish investigation.
Neymar Sr and Barcelona have all denied any wrongdoing in both cases, while Neymar conceded last week that he was finding it tough to perform on the pitch in the face of “lies” aimed at him and his family.
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