Barcelona star Neymar charged with tax evasion, falsifying documents in Brazil

Sao Paulo: Brazilian authorities charged Barcelona and Brazil star striker Neymar on Tuesday with tax evasion and falsifying documents over a seven-year period.

The federal prosecutor's office alleged that the striker committed the crimes between 2006, when he was just a promising youngster at Brazilian football club Santos, and 2013, when he signed for Barcelona.

Prosecutors also brought charges against his father and two senior FC Barcelona management figures, its current president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell.

The federal prosecution service said in a statement the charges related to "tax evasion and forgery."

File photo of Neymar. Getty Images

File photo of Neymar. Getty Images

FC Barcelona also faces a separate case in Spain, where Brazilian investment fund DIS has made allegations of fraud and corruption relating to Neymar's signing in 2013.

Neymar gave testimony in that case at Spain's National Court earlier on Tuesday, though formal charges have not yet been brought over those allegations.

DIS held 40 percent of the 23-year-old's sporting rights when he played at Santos, and has claimed it was cheated of its real share of the transfer due to parallel contracts that Barcelona and Santos allegedly used to hide the total cost.

The transfer deal was originally valued at 57.1 million euros ($62.2 million) by Barca.

But Spanish judicial authorities have estimated it added up to at least 83.3 million euros -- with the difference allegedly going to Neymar and his family, and Santos.

At Barcelona, Neymar is one part of one of the world's most potent football strike forces, alongside Argentine superstar Lionel Messi and Uruguay's Luis Suarez.

But the club has faced numerous legal headaches off the field. Messi himself has been called to stand trial from 31 May for tax fraud in a separate case.



Updated Date: Feb 03, 2016 09:00 AM

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