Barcelona star Neymar has been found guilty of tax fraud and slapped with a €45.9 million fine.
Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported the details from his trial (with ESPN reporting them) and his failure to report earnings has landed him with an incredible bill. He is expected to appeal the verdict.
Neymar allegedly hid earnings from his Santos, Barcelona and Nike contracts to the tune of 188.8 million Brazilian reals (€45.9m) in fines and back-taxes. Court documents claim that Neymar used his companies (Neymar Sport e Marketing, N & N Consultoria, N & N Administracao de Bens) to avoid paying €56.4m between 2012 and 2014.
The judge suspected that Neymar had fake contracts to hide his other income. “We studied the information regarding the tax case in question, Neymar, the three businesses and his business partners [parents] and we found that there were fraudulent business practices,” wrote Develly Claudia Montez, who acted as auditor for the court.
Neymar is under a simultaneous tax fraud investigation by the Spanish government. He’s not the first Barcelona player to encounter this kind of problem with Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano also running into tax trouble.