Updated 12:08 AM EDT, Mon, Jun 21, 2021

Neymar Case Update: Barcelona President to be Investigated Over Tax Fraud

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FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is facing legal woes for alleged tax fraud linked to the signing of Brazil striker Neymar.

According to a report from The Guardian, prosecutor Jose Perals has requested Judge Pablo Ruz to investigate Bartomeu and the club for allegedly defrauding the tax office of 2.8 million euros or $3.2 million. Bartomeu will appear in the Madrid'sne Audiencia National court on February 13.

"Ruz said Bartomeu will be investigated for alleged unpaid taxes for a payment of €5m euros to the company N&N, owned by Neymar's father, along with another €472,500 in image rights and agents fees. Neymar's father, also named Neymar, is his agent," The Guardian reported.

Ruz will oversee whether former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell "misappropriated funds to hide the transfer cost paid to Neymar," Fox News Latino stated. He allegedly split up the payment on purpose in order to hide the real cost of Neymar. Rosell also purportedly made previous charges without the knowledge of Barcelona's board of the financial implications of acquiring the athlete.

Neymar previously insisted that his contract wasn't illegal in his Barcelona transfer, while Rosell said that the operation to sign the negotiation was "correct."

Neymar's transfer fee has been in question since he was presented at the Camp Nou on June 3, 2013, Fox News Latino added.

Barcelona, on the other hand, issued an official statement expressing their disagreement with charging both Rosell and Bartomeu for the alleged illegality of the transfer.

The statement reads: "FC Barcelona wishes to express to its members its surprise, indignation and total disagreement with the public prosecutor's petition for the club and its former president Sandro Rosell to face trial for presumed misdemeanors in the transfer of the player Neymar da Silva Santos Jr."

Barcelona also added that their club has been advised all the time with tax law specialists, ESPN FC reports, and that they have provided requested documents on several occasions "which has been supported by various judicial testimonies."

The club further explained that the actions involved in Neymar's and the other players' transfers were done without the intention of breaking the law, the news outlet noted. They declared that the club will continue to use legal resources to defend its own members, and will "not allow any action to tarnish the club's image or to damage or dishonour what it considers to be a historic and strategic signing."

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