Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Neymar Starts Fraud Case in Madrid


Brazilian football star Neymar and his father have arrived at a Spanish court where they are due to give evidence.

It is in relation to allegations of corruption and fraud surrounding Neymar's transfer to FC Barcelona.

Barcelona said it paid €57m (£43m) for Neymar in 2013 but investigators say the fee was closer to €83m and Barcelona concealed part of the deal.

The current and former president of the club denied wrongdoing at the court in Madrid on Monday.

Barcelona says Neymar's parents received €40m and his former club, Santos, was paid €17m.

The case was brought by Brazilian third-party investment fund DIS, which owned 40% of the Brazilian player's sports rights.

DIS alleges it was financially harmed by the transfer when it received €6.8m of Santos's €17m fee and argues it was deprived of its full share.

Barcelona Football Club President Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell appeared at the court in Madrid on Monday, insisting they had acted correctly. In a statement on Monday, the club said they had repeated in court what they had said last year.

"They are not worried and said they have confidence in justice," it added.

They are also accused in a separate case of defrauding the Spanish tax office of an estimated €13m. They deny the allegations.

Neymar's mother is also expected in court.

Judge Jose de la Mata was expected to decide whether both parents should give evidence in person.

Neymar's move to Barcelona has been a big success on the pitch. The striker became part of a goal-scoring trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

In 2015, Neymar, 23, helped the club win five trophies and came third in the Fifa Ballon d'Or competition. He also scored in the Uefa Champions League final against Juventus.

But he has also encountered legal difficulties in Brazil, where a court has frozen $47m (£33m) of his assets in connection with suspected tax evasion between 2011 and 2013.


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