By Samindra Kunti
March 21 – Brazil and Barcelona player Neymar has been convicted of tax fraud and ordered to pay €45.9 million in fines and back-taxes.
The guilty verdict was passed by an administrative judge in Rio de Janeiro. The court found Brazil’s iconic player guilty of tax evasion for failing to report earnings from a number of lucrative contracts.
The judge examining the case alleged that false contracts were created to avoid paying the full taxes. Last year the court had already frozen some of Neymar’s assets, a result of the allegations of tax evasion, including his private jet.
Neymar used his businesses, Neymar Sport e Marketing, N & N Consultoria and N & N Administracao de Bens, between 2012 and 2014 to misappropriate his earnings, according to court documents.
“We studied the information regarding the tax case in question, Neymar, the three businesses and his business partners [parents of the player] and we found that there were fraudulent business practices,” wrote Develly Claudia Montez, who performed the audit for the court.
Neymar can appeal the ruling.
Neymar burst onto the football scene playing for Brazilian club Santos. In 2013 he moved to Spanish giants FC Barcelona. The Brazilian has become an integral part of the feared Catalan forward line after settling down.
Neymar is also under investigation by Spanish authorities over his move to Nou Camp. FC Barcelona paid €57.1 million for Neymar’s services, but after the resignation of Sandro Rosell as the club’s president Barcelona revealed the player had in fact cost €86.2 million.
Earlier this year Neymar testified in court along with his father and the former and current Barcelona presidents.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org