Neymar under investigation for fraud in Brazil | News | DW | 03.02.2016
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Neymar under investigation for fraud in Brazil

Star Brazilian striker Neymar has found himself at the center of tax evasion allegations in his hometown of Santos. At the same time, he is facing a Spanish court over irregularities when he was signed to FC Barcelona.

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Neymar heads to court

Soccer star Neymar and his father found themselves in new legal hot water on Tuesday when Brazilian prosecutors filed suits against the pair for tax evasion and providing false information.

Two ex-presidents of Neymar's Spanish club FC Barcelona were also implicated in the suit, launched by the Prosecution Service in the star's hometown of Santos.

The state attorneys released a statement saying Neymar and his father had "forged a series of documents between 2006 and 2013 with the intention of reducing the taxes owed to the inland revenue in Brazil," referring to contracts over image rights made when a teenaged Neymar was playing for the Santos side.

The famous footballer and his father funneled money from publicity work into the elder Neymar's account to cut their tax burden, claims the prosecution.

"Neymar's conduct, along with the others accused, caused millions in losses to the public coffers," the statement continued. A judge now must decide if the case goes forward.

The charge also has to do with fraud the prosecution says occurred during negotiations to trade the striker to Barcelona in 2011. Before finally leaving for the Spanish champions in 2013, prosecutors say three companies linked to Neymar's relatives were all involved in the scheme to evade taxes.

The 23-year-old Brazilian has defended himself on his website, accusing the prosecution of "seeking the limelight."

Neymars in front Spanish judge

At the same time as the charges were being filed on Tuesday, Neymar and his father were already before a judge in Madrid to provide evidence in a case also involving former FC Barcelona Presidents Alexandre Rosell Feliu and Josep Maria Bartomeu Floresta, also to do with irregularities in signing the young striker to the team.

Last week, a Sao Paolo judge ruled that Neymar and his father would have to pay back nearly $113,000 (103,000 Euros) in taxes to the Brazilian authorities in a separate case relating to wrongdoing in 2007 and 2008.

es/jr (Reuters, AFP)

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