Barca star Neymar to stand trial over fraud allegations

Neymar will stand trial on allegations of fraud over his 2013 transfer to Barca

Neymar will stand trial on allegations of fraud over his 2013 transfer to Barca

Neymar, his parents, the Barcelona president and his predecessor will all stand trial on allegations of fraud, the Spanish National High Court has confirmed.

Former Santos president Odilio Rodrigues and the two clubs in question join the Brazil forward, his mother and father, Josep Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell as defendants in a trial over Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013, according to a court statement.

The case stems from a complaint made by Brazilian company DIS, which owned 40 per cent of the rights to Neymar when he was at Santos. It argues that it lost out on its rightful cut from the transfer because the true value of the deal was understated.

Prosecutors said in November that Neymar should be fined €10m (£8.5m) and handed a two-year jail sentence.

Josep Bartomeu will also stand trial over allegations of fraud over Neymar’s move

For first-time offenders in non-violent crimes in Spain, sentences of two years or less are suspended, so it is unlikely the player would serve any prison time.

At the time, Barcelona claimed the transfer fee was €57.1m (£48.5m), of which €40m (£34m) was to be paid to Neymar’s family.

DIS received a 40 per cent share of the remaining €17.1m (£14.5m) that was paid to Santos, but the court value the rights transferred by DIS to Barcelona at €25.2m (£21.4m) and said DIS’s cut should have been based on that amount.

The Spanish High Court statement read: “The judge has set bonds of €3,429,768 (£2.9m) as pecuniary liability for Rosell, Bartomeu, Rodrigues, Football Club Barcelona and Santos Football Club, which must be paid by all jointly.”

Barcelona did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. No one picked up the phone at Santos or at Neymar’s Brazil-based company, NN Consultaria, when Reuters called seeking comment.

The transfer has given rise to several investigations in Spain and Brazil. Last June, Barcelona agreed to pay a fine of €5.5m (£4.7m) to the Spanish authorities to settle a related tax fraud case.

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