SportsLocal-SoccerAllegations are piling up against Brazilian fútbol superstar Neymar in European and Brazilian courts faster than he can score goals on the field.  The 23-year-old striker recently appeared in a Madrid court over allegations of corruption and fraud surrounding his transfer from Brazilian soccer club Santos to FC Barcelona.  While FC Barcelona claims that it acquired Neymar in a deal valued at €57 million (€17 million of which was paid to Santos), investigators said that the club concealed an additional €26 million it paid in the trade.  According to the BBC, the suit was brought by DIS, a Brazilian investment fund that owns 40% of the Brazilian player’s sports rights.  Of the €17 million that went to Santos as a result of the deal, DIS received 40% (approximately €6.8 million).  However, because DIS claims that in actuality the deal was worth €83 million, DIS claims that it was wrongfully deprived of its full share and is owed significantly more than €6.8 million.

In addition to the lawsuit in Spain, two cases are pending against Neymar in his home country of Brazil.  In the first case, a Brazilian court has already frozen €47 million of Neymar’s assets in connection with suspected tax evasion between 2011 and 2013.  In a second entirely unrelated matter, Brazilian authorities have recommended charging Neymar with four counts of fraud in relation to the tax case in Spain.  Officials looking into the matter claim that shell companies were set up to help Neymar avoid paying a higher tax rate dating back to 2006.  The fate of this case rests with a Brazilian judge who will decide if there is enough evidence to bring formal charges against the soccer star.

Loren Shokes is an Entertainment and Sports Highlight Contributor for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and a current second year student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2017).

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