Brazilian authorities freeze Neymar assets for tax evasion
Brazilian authorities have blocked Barcelona star Neymar assets, including a yacht, a jet and also several properties worth amounting to almost $50 million.
A Sao Paulo federal court reportedly rejected an appeal from the Brazilian forward last week and started issuing warrants necessitate to freeze Neymar assets worth 192 million reals (almost $50 million), Brazilian press reported on Monday.
Last year, Neymar, his family and associated businesses were found guilty of evading a staggering 63 million reals in taxes (almost $16 million) between the years 2011 and 2013 when he had been playing for Brazilian club Santos. He has denied any sort of wrongdoing.
The 23-year-old Neymar used the jet usually to travel to Brazil for the World Cup qualifying matches and holidays.
Iagaro Jung Martins, an important auditor with Brazil’s federal tax agency, exclaimed to the Associated Press that Neymar is unlikely to go to jail if he pays what the regulators say he owes.
“He can still appeal that decision, but it is a step forward,” Martins told the AP. “Nothing changed to what was in place last year: if he pays what he owes, the case is closed. Our legislation isn’t too harsh.”
The assets seizure is the last blow in a streak of bad news for the Brazilian star off the ground.
On Feb. 2 Neymar and his father were questioned continuous for three hours in a Madrid court regarding the player’s transfer to Barcelona. The discussed case was brought by Grupo Sonda, which had invested in Neymar early in his career and who was allegedly entitled to 40 per cent of his total transfer amount, all adding up to Neymar assets.
Barcelona maintains that the deal cost the club 57.1 million euros (then $74 million). Santos formally received a payment of total 17.1 million euros ($18.5 million), with the remaining 40 million euros ($55.5 million) being sent to a company owned by Neymar’s father, Neymar Santos himself. But investigations in Spain later revealed that Barcelona spent nearly 83.3 million euros ($90 million) to recruit Neymar.
Former and also current Barcelona presidents and representatives of Santos were questioned. The Brazilian club also claims to have been upset by the transfers. All parties denied any wrongdoing regarding Neymar assets freezing.