Barcelona president investigated over Neymar transfer issues

MADRID (AP) — Spain's prosecutor on Monday asked a National Court judge to investigate Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu in a case of alleged tax fraud in the signing of Brazil striker Neymar.

In a statement, prosecutor Jose Perals said he has requested that judge Pablo Ruz probe Bartomeu and the club for allegedly defrauding the Tax Office of 2.8 million euros ($3.2 million).

Ruz is overseeing an investigation into whether former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell misappropriated funds to hide the transfer cost paid to Santos.

The statement reiterated previous charges that Rosell allegedly acted without consulting or informing Barcelona's board of the financial implications of acquiring Neymar.

Rosell had deliberately decided to split up the payment "with the intention of hiding the real cost of the player," the statement said.

The prosecutor said that unpaid taxes — including the amount attributed to Bartomeu's oversight — amounted to more than 12 million euros ($13.6 million).

Ruz had previously required Neymar's father to supply the court with documents relating to the signing, including the payment terms and conditions, and asked Barcelona to provide its 2013 boardroom minutes up to and including June.

Neymar's transfer fee has been under scrutiny since his presentation at the Camp Nou on June 3, 2013.

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