Friday September 25th, 2015

Barcelona star Neymar is facing a serious tax evasion probe, with nearly $50 million of his assets frozen by Brazilian courts on Friday.

The São Paulo federal court said Friday that Neymar, 23, had allegedly evaded nearly $16 million worth of Brazil taxes between 2011 and 2013. The judge has frozen nearly three times that amount in assets.

A judge stated that Neymar had declared significantly less in assets at that time, around $4.85 million worth, and was “solely responsible” for that income declaration. The judge accused him of “omitting sources of income from abroad,” citing FC Barcelona, where Neymar transferred in 2013 from Brazilian club Santos as the source of unreported money.

Neymar's transfer itself was shrouded in some degree of scandal, after he and his family received additional payouts from what Barcelona originally stated in the move, a controversy which led to the resignation of then-team president Sandro Rosell. Tax officials in Brazil had reportedly been investigating Neymar’s accounts for more than a year

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano, both natives of Argentina, have also been involved in tax fraud controversies in the past year.

LYTTLETON: Blatter among those in Europe facing heavy pressure

Jeremy Woo

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